6:40 AM. As is often the case, the day begins next to the little grove of prickly trees, and if I turn around I can see the sunrise is imminent. For the time being, the sun is only a nugget against the massive flank of the Lemagurut volcano, but I know that in a moment a flow of molten light will spill from this natural cauldron and down into the plain, flattening the shadows to the ground, setting the first signs of life on the Serengeti in sharp relief. My eyes are glued to my binoculars, sweeping the infinite plain, and I watch as the actors come onto the stage of this living theatre, about to give, yet again, a unique, never-before-seen performance, the millennial, fascinating play between life and death. As each destiny moves closer to fulfilment, nothing is ever sure; until the last second hope stays side by side with the improbable, and no sooner are these dramatic moments consummated than their trace has ceased to exist, except in memory. Elsewhere, huge crowds are gathering, and this morning I will be the sole witness of the varying manifestations of this teeming life. What system was so important, what was so urgent, so imperiously necessary, that mankind could have sold its time and perhaps even its soul, and that this world has now become so foreign to us?
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