Watching a documentary on sharks with my nephew Ilyo this morning, there is a particular scene that he and I love! We watch it again, and again, each inspired in our own way and becoming progressively more elated together! It's a scene shot in a bay, where baby gennets (seabirds) take to the water for the first time to fly - without their parents, who've already left the colony. Understandably, inexperienced young birds floating on water and flapping their wings draws sharks. Big ones. Bull sharks. In SA we call them Zambezis. They're large, brutish, aggressive and fast! And the float-flapping hatchlings they go after don't really stand much of a chance. 


A young gennet - struggling to take off - fights back! It maneuvers, flip-flops, ducks, turns, dives, twists AND PECKS! Couldn't believe it! - A 40cm cheeky little bugger pecking away at a 3m shark and maneuvering for its life! PECKING! AND THEN PECKING AGAIN! It's incredible! MAGNIFICENT!

Eventually the twist-trurning of both the gennet chick and the shark becomes so much that all you see is ocean froth.

And then ...

My God (and I use that word in real veneration of the spirit even a seabird chick is imbued with) - suddenly out of the torrent of frothing bay the gennet emerges - flapping and running on the water while being trailed by the biggest open mouth it'll ever see and live to tell the tale. And as if carried aloft by willpower alone, it takes off!

The first time Ilyo and I saw this scene, astounded we sat - and then we fell back on the bed and burst into hysterical laughter. We both so clearly got the joyful significance of what we'd just seen, that no words were needed. No explanation necessary. LAUGHTER only would suffice!

Now, as we all start another week together, I wish you gennet-chick-spirit, brave abandon and the kind of elation whose amazing grace need never have to be explained!   

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