Category Archives: Waxing Philosophical

Creature Thoughts: May/June 2017

Warriors Of The Rainbow

When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear. When that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.
—Chief Seattle

I am not sure who this great man was referring to when he talked of the Warriors of the Rainbow, but these words have touched my heart today. I think that many of us are Warriors (though we may not see ourselves that way). There are also many phases and degrees to this battle for the animals, and as many different points of view as there are species of animal to help.

Now, to clarify, I am not what many have come to think of as an “animal rights activist”. I do not believe, for example, that only rescues deserve to have good homes, or that all breeders are evil. I do not believe that every working animal is being abused or neglected or needs to be rescued. I believe that each situation should be assessed individually, and that those individual circumstances, when viewed with honesty and compassion, can range from the delightful to the horrific. I do not paint all — “fill in the blank” — with the same brush, and I am very careful not to needlessly dip my brush in warpaint.

However, there are many times where the kind at heart, the Rainbow Warriors whose paints bear the pigments of love, need to do something about a situation, to help those who cannot speak for themselves.

There are Warriors who do rescue of many kinds: dog, cat, horse, bird, wildlife. There are Warriors who fight larger battles to protect endangered species. There are Warriors who adopt an elder dog or cat, and Warriors who bring a new puppy or kitten into their homes and give it love and security for life.

There are Warriors who step in to contact authorities when they see neglect or abuse. There are Warriors who fight to prevent cruelty in the agricultural animal market. There are Warriors who battle to reintroduce species, such as native predators, into ecosystems to try to restore a more natural balance.

Rainbow Warriors don’t always work directly for the animals themselves. Those who promote education about the dangers of climate change, to try to assure a future for our planet and her generations to come, are some of the top-echelon of Warriors today.

The truth is that each of us, in our own unique way, can be a Warrior of the Rainbow as long as we don’t close our eyes to injustice or need. When we see something that doesn’t feel right, we educate ourselves as to the situation and its surrounding truths, and reach out our hand to help. The true Warrior never loses sight of compassion when seeking those truths. We must never forget, when working to help the animals, that human beings are animals, too. Yes, there are some who are just plain rotten, I’ve no argument about that. However, compassion dictates that we try to ascertain the reasons behind a problem — it could well be that the one in most desperate need of rescue is the one we initially see as the cause.

I believe that everyone reading this message can look back on their lives and find examples of how they, too, have acted as a Warrior of the Rainbow. Who has not, at some time, lent a helping hand, planted a tree, adopted a pet, filled a bird feeder in the winter, or picked up a piece of litter that was carelessly tossed into the environment? Each small act of compassion and kindness counts. As we look back on our Warrior moments, we can look forward to the future with more clarity, and more determination to heal our Mother Earth.

 

News and Updates:

Although I am taking a hiatus from doing wild bird rescue this year (due to the need to keep two more un-releasable Starlings from last season, there’s “no room at the inn”), there are many good Warriors out there who are doing wildlife rehabilitation. These folks work on their own dime, often day and night, without any official compensation and with very little thanks. If you’d like to help your local wildlife and the people who fight for them, seek out your nearest wildlife rescue center, and leave them a donation. The nearest and dearest to my own heart, of course, is New York Wildlife Rescue Center. The link will take you to their website, where you can click the PayPal button and lend a hand.

As always, please continue to visit my website for updates, changes of schedule, etc. I will always try to keep the Unavailable Times page current, and you can also follow my Twitter announcements in the sidebar.

Blessings and Light,

Creature Thoughts, February 2017

One

One“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else” – Leonardo DaVinci

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” — Albert Einstein

“I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together.” – John Lennon and Paul McCartney

I think you get the gist.

I confess that these troubled times have me, well … troubled. Troubled enough that I wound up in the ER with all my doctors thinking I had a serious heart condition. Severe chest pain and pressure, constriction across the rib cage, pain down the arm, couldn’t breathe, arrhythmia off the charts…. Some tests confirmed the fears (the stress test being one — that should have been a hint). The big one that shows what is really happening (the cardiac catheterization), however, found that there is nothing physically wrong with my heart or arteries. The final, though of course tentative, conclusion?

Stress.

So, I’m off medication but on helpful supplements. I’m exercising, with a gradual and careful rate of increase. I’ve knocked fatty and highly processed foods, and “bad carbs”, out of my diet. I have lost much of the weight I’d put on in the past year. I’m meditating daily.

I’m feeling a little better each day.

I find that meditation on that sense of interconnectedness has been very helpful. I truly do believe the wise ones who state that all life is part of one great Creative Force.

The plants, the earth, the air, the animals, all human beings on this planet (and possibly others) — even the ones that don’t think as I do — are One.

They are all a part of me.

That’s hard to grasp at times. However, my animal friends are always willing to help. Do animals always get along? Heck, no, of course not. Yet they are still more closely connected to the cycles of life than most humans. They follow the earth’s ley lines, they dance the dance of predator and prey. They know when the seasons will change, and when it is time to move to new quarters.

I freely admit that, much of the time (especially lately) I feel my connection to animals in ways that I cannot sense with other humans. When I feel separated, alone, cut off from the great life force that powers all beings, I reach for the connection with the animals around me. From there, it’s only one more step (and sometimes a giant leap, but doable) to remembering that human beings (myself, included) are animals, too.

Are you also responding to the division around us with anxiety? I encourage you to find a quiet space with some of your animal friends. Sit with a hand on your dog’s heartbeat, or your purring cat in your lap. Upturn a bucket in your horse’s stall, and just plop yourself down to be with her. Close your eyes, clear your mind, and step outside of yourself to focus solely on them. Feel the connection — the rhythm of their breath, the warmth of their bodies, the softness of their fur, the smell of their unique presence. Give yourself time, each day, to remember that they, and you, are part of the same Breath of Life that quickens us all.

It won’t fix the problems of the world, but it will fix that moment, right there, in your small corner of it.

“We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
—”Woodstock”, written by Joni Mitchell,
and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (et.al.)

 

News and Updates:

Again, I must apologize for missing a newsletter issue. The explanation, though it’s hardly an excuse, is above. So much for my New Year’s Resolution to get all 12 issues out on time!

I want to thank everyone who has so kindly sent me support, good thoughts, and healing while I’ve been working my way back to health. You are so very appreciated!

As always, please continue to visit my website for updates, changes of schedule, etc. I will always try to keep the Unavailable Times page current, and you can also follow my Twitter announcements in the sidebar.

Blessings and Light,

Creature Thoughts, November 2016

Note: Please accept my apologies for the lack of an October newsletter.

Why Do We Keep Pets?

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
— Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987)

As human beings, we often lose touch with the fact that we are, in fact, a part of the natural world. It seems to be easier to think of our animals as belonging to nature, than it is to think of ourselves as, well … animals.

The days that approach the end of each year–when life turns toward rest and sleep and the light gives place to darkness–often find me waxing philosophical. The losses I have faced in my life in recent years seem to have intensified this need to go within.

This year, I look at the world around me, and wonder where I have fallen out of step. Fall crept up on me. It seems I had barely seen the colors, snapped a few photos, and they were gone. I looked out one October morning to find snow falling, winter peeping around the corner, and wondered how I had failed to notice. How had autumn’s splendor come and gone so quickly? What happened to summer? Wasn’t it yesterday I was watching for the leaves to bud on the trees, and my lilacs to bloom?

We live in a world apart from nature in so many ways. We work at our desks, surrounded by possessions. For weeks on end the only connection to the natural world we experience is through a window. Time has marched on, leaving the human race behind. There was a time that we were part of the heartbeat of the earth. We altered our lives with the seasons. We planted with the warming spring, harvested with the autumn gold. We rose and slept with the sunlight, and our life tides cycled with the moon. Today, unless we are a part of the farming or fishing community, most humans pay no attention to whether the last frost has ended, or when the moon’s pull on the ocean is strongest.

For most of our species history, we had animals in our lives to help us survive. They provided food and clothing. They protected home and flock. They rid the grain of vermin. They were part and parcel of our connection to the cycles of nature. They walked beside us, our fingers and their paws intimately in touch with the pulse of the earth.

Today, psychology experts have various theories as to why we keep animals in our lives. After all, they can be a bother, a worry, and mean extra work and expense. We pay vet bills, buy their food, care for their illnesses. We have to walk them, clean their litters, muck their stalls. We change our lives around their needs, often setting aside our own conveniences so as not to inconvenience them. And then, at the end of their time in their beautiful bodies, they break our hearts irreparably. In a practical sense, we could live our lives without them. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

Some experts suggest we keep animals for selfish reasons such as power, control and status. Others feel that they help our anxieties, keep us calm, and allow us to express emotions we otherwise wouldn’t feel comfortable showing. Some say they are a substitute for human children, for in many ways our pets never grow up (or at least many people treat them that way). Others think, in the case of animals such as horses, show dogs, etc, they give us a way to interact positively with one another, as well as provide an outlet for our need for sport and competition.

I believe that all of these thoughts are valid in some ways (and for some people), and that our reasons probably vary as much as we do.

However, I also believe that we humans have one need that runs very deep, which the experts fail to consider. It is a need that some people feel their entire lives, and of which they are never fully cognizant. I believe that somewhere, deep in our souls, we are still wild beings. We still feel, though rarely understand, the pull of the tides. The heartbeat of the Universe cries out to us, waiting patiently (and futilely) for our own pulse to fall in sync. Our animals haven’t lost that synchrony. We are often unaware of the anchor they provide. Through them, we experience brief moments of connection. We hear the pulse in our dreams. We feel their heartbeat and it pulls us deeper. We may not recognize the experience, or be able to put a name to it, but it is there. It is that undefined sense of wonder we feel when we bury our fingers into fur, connect to the vibration of a purr, or feel the rhythm of hoof-beats on the earth.

Our animals bring us home.

I give thanks, even through the heartbreak and tears, for all my pets have given to me. Most of all, I thank them for providing an anchor for my soul. I thank them for helping me to hear the pulse of the Universe, and know it for what it is. Maybe, just maybe, with their help, my own heartbeat will learn to dance in time.

News and Announcements:

There will be a holiday three-pack special again this year. The special of $10 off the regular three-pack price will be for the months of November and December, ending on January 2nd. Feel free to email me for more information or if you wish to participate.