She moved forwards and lingered two meters from me. I lowered the camera, subconsciously softening my own expression to reflect her Buddha-like serenity. It felt tender. Intimate. I marveled at being in the presence of such a profoundly tranquil soul and experienced a bewildering new emotional response. I looked away and wondered what it was. Perhaps it was something our ever-faster lives so often deny: reverence.
I blinked and she hoisted herself back into the trees, hanging effortlessly between two vines. Her right leg provided a perfect perch for the infant who sat there looking on with a regal indifference. I took a couple of shots before I realized what I was witnessing. Here was one of our closest relatives, suspended in space and time, exhibiting the beauty, equilibrium and resilience of a species that has evolved to live in harmony with its surroundings. The feeling was of immediacy and timelessness.
I decided to call that moment - and the defining shot of the afternoon - Suspended Disbelief. It was as if those few seconds represented a doorway through which I could transcend my preconceived notions and perceived inevitabilities about the world to experience an alternative reality lying well beyond the projected horizon. Today was not the day to say with infinite wisdom, ‘It will never happen, it can’t be done.’