Thursday, September 9, 2010

Messages from Nature

Yesterday, a great blue heron lifted off from the middle of the road as my husband and I turned a corner and came upon it. Because the trees on that stretch of road create a canopy – with a steep hill on one side and a deep gully on the other – and because the heron’s wing span was so large, it could only follow the course of the road, until we all came out from the trees. It was exhilarating, even in such simplicity, to watch the beautiful bird follow the same course we were on, and then quietly fly on its way.

We have been seeing much wildlife lately. At the end of a recent walk, coming out of the woods we saw two deer grazing serenely in a field. They took notice of us, and gazed at us until we were in line with them, passing them on the road. On a recent morning walk a coyote stepped out from the woods onto the road, and upon seeing me, immediately turned and ran back into the trees. Crows have lighted on the tops of trees as I walked beneath… Blue Jays have lit the sky with their song – not always seen, but always heard. Beavers and woodchucks have been busy creating dams or searching woodpiles. Bullfrogs have uttered their bass notes.

I used to believe that each time an animal or bird crossed my path in some unusual, special way, it meant something more. What would the message of the heron have been? Or the two deer watching silently and with gentle trust? Or the coyote, in his skittish manner, darting back to cover? These days, their significance is a little different. I don’t necessarily see a specific message… it is no longer a divination, but the significance is just as great. I see this beautiful, constant interaction between beings – beings of the sky, the earth, the water, and us. We may seem to be outside their natural world, but we are truly a part of it. We are no more separate from them, than we are from our own families. At times, we might even follow the same path.

Recognizing this significance – that I am, indeed, a true part of Nature; a more instinctive awareness that goes beyond a philosophical understanding of being one with nature – brings a unique sense of self-respect, as well as love, affection, and compassion. Should we not be as gentle to ourselves as we would to any of those birds or animals we might encounter? The message I now receive, put very simply, is to treat myself kindly. To me, especially at this point in my life, that is a more important message than any I have ever perceived before from these encounters. And, I would hazard to guess, it is far more divine, in its infinite wisdom.

~ Nellie Levine 

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2 comments:

  1. These are the reasons I relocated to the mountains. There are times when I can stand outside and hear the birds and smell the creek and see the deer, and I feel very much like I am surrounded by family.

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  2. Nellie, I know what you mean. You capture these serene moments so beautifully.

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