It's the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
There is a drum in the core of the earth, beating louder and louder as the sun rises. The drum makes itself home among the ribcages of every creature in the savannah, all rising to watch the colours of the sky change and soak in the golden light.
In the dawn of a new day there is no prey or predator. Just the same thousand eyes at the mercy of the light. Just the same cubs and kits and pups and calves struggling to stand and taking their first steps.
The ants follow the same trail as yesterday. The dust rises as the herds begin to move. Howls and trumpets and roars travel faster than feet and paws.
And the heartbeat. The heartbeat seems to come from the sun itself as it climbs higher up the sky, painting everything blue. Now, the heartbeat comes from the fortress carved in the stone at the bottom of the hills, not far from the Waterhole.
The herds move and head for the Pride Rock. The flocks fly and head for the Pride Rock. The solitary hunters join the masses and head for the Pride Rock.
Their King stands atop the highest tower.
The gourds sound like rattlers. The buffalo open a path for the Mjuzi to walk through, white and blue robes dragging and bakora staff rhythmically tapping the ground. They bow. The Mjuzi is the is the only one allowed through the great double doors of Pride Rock and into the castle.
Rattling go the seeds inside the gourds hanging from the end of the staff.
The King and Queen are purring. The Prince doesn’t purr from his mother’s arms where he is wrapped in patterned blankets of reds and goldens and browns.
Rafiki, the Mjuzi, chooses one of the gourds. One that hasn’t been hollowed. He raises it above his head, to the sky and the Rulers of the Past that are looking down upon them even in the blue clarity of daylight. They were there in the golden of the sun coming down as spotlights through gaps on the clouds.
The tower is tall and the tower is wrapped in a twist of wind that carries leaves and feathers and their ancestors. Rafiki smells them in the breeze.
He draws a line with the paste of the gourds on the forehead of the Prince. He extends his arms and the Queen puts her son, without the blanket, on the Mjuzi’s hands.
Standing on the edge of the tower, Rafiki presents Simba to the kingdom.
The kingdom rejoices.