In Summary
  • Every year I just start my year and wing it, roll with the punches, do what I have to do and let the universe do the rest because what’s the work of the universe?
  • I always scoffed at those busybodies who sit down with a pen and paper every new year and write down their plans and ambitions and dreams as if they are going to war.

A few evenings ago, just after sunset, I asked the lodge’s caretaker if there are leopards around the property. I was standing at the terrace hanging over the lip of a valley in Kajiado.

Beyond, in the ominous darkness, hills rolled and folded like an old man’s blanket. The caretaker, a Maasai in a maroon leather jacket and a stick to stoke the fire he was making for us said there were leopards that roam in the valley but they never come up the lodge.

Trying to stay calm (and brave) I asked, “Have you seen them with your own two eyes?” [As if sometimes he closes one eye to see things.] He laughed, tossing a log in the smoking fire, and said actually he has, and that leopards don’t bother anyone unless they feel threatened. I was disbelieving.

I’ve heard of tragic tales of leopards that attacked people who only wanted to enjoy the scenery, drink wine and eat garlic bread.

And the problem with leopards is that you don’t hear them until they are at your feet and are chewing on your leg.

Leopards bring the kind of fear to me that lions and snakes don’t. Plus, legend has it that you can’t stare at a leopard in the eye.

“How sure are you that they won’t come up here?” I pressed him. “Maybe one leopard will decide today that it’s had enough of these humans who come here smelling of perfume and laughing loudly into the quiet night, disturbing their peace and the peace of their children.” He straightened up and said evenly that no leopard was going to come up here. Have a goodnight, he said, and left us to the looming darkness and all the mystery that lurked in it, including conspiratory leopards and things that crawl up legs.

I was there to work on my 2018/2019 planning booklet. I know that sounds like I’m a super organised and focused Kenyan but the truth is that it was the first time I was doing something like this.

Every year I just start my year and wing it, roll with the punches, do what I have to do and let the universe do the rest because what’s the work of the universe? I always scoffed at those busybodies who sit down with a pen and paper every new year and write down their plans and ambitions and dreams as if they are going to war. It seemed like much ado over nothing, a tad dramatic. My philosophy is that life happens when you do your part. But then I realised that I was the only one who wasn’t projecting my year, all my “serious” and “successful” friends were doing different and they were shocked I wasn’t.

USEFUL BOOKLET

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