I agree with Deepak Chopra in the Mythic Journeys film. He says, and I paraphrase of course, that our collective soul is hurting and we need a new story to heal it.
I think the animals are showing us, literally showing us, how to live into this new story, if we’re quick enough to catch their clues.
Recent “forwarded” emails reveal that animals are showing us another way to live and that some humans are responding with grace. Stories, photos and videos from drought stricken Australia in 2009 show koala bears approaching humans and asking for water. Both four legged and two had to linger long enough in each other’s company to figure out the request and respond appropriately. A recent northern hemisphere tale recounts how four deer swimming far off shore in cold waters approached a fishing boat. The fisher folk clearly understood the animals’ communication…we need rescuing…they lowered the gate at the back of the vessel. The deer climbed on and dropped in exhaustion.
We used to know how to communicate among species. I’m sure of it. Our culture still relies on this fact. My three year old grandson sees the world through animal eyes. The animals are his first teachers. Why and precisely when that apprenticeship ends I don’t know.
John has bins of plastic animals and floppy plushy stuffed animals and he plays with them all on a daily basis.
He loves books and most of the stories are told by and about animals.
He loves puzzles, many are animal related, including one that illustrates a kazillion species on this planet…creatures I’ve never even heard of.
He loves tracks and battery operated toys that run on them. He often chooses hex bugs or robot guinea pigs to charge along those tracks, rather than cars.
He loves kids’ TV. Most of them are non-human animal centered. Mickey Mouse, Scooby-Doo, Barney, Berenstein Bears, Jungle Junction, Big Bird and Cookie Monster. The list is long. The show that offered me an epiphany is called Timmy Time and features an all animal cast – owl, porcupine, dog, fox, pig, possum, lamb, sheep, ostrich, duck. There are probably more but I forget them now. The attention getter is that all the characters speak non-human animal! Howls, growls, barks and meows. Chirps and squawks, hisses and hiccups. No human language is uttered. And here is the epiphany.
Any child in any culture anywhere on this globe would understand the storyline.
Think about that!
I don’t think I have the strength for this one Deborah. I love animals so deeply that it hurts, so I don’t go there and yet I am not a vegan. I am a walking contradiction. I love their chirping, howling, grunting songs and yet if I listen too deeply I project my own experiences of not being able to protect myself. I can’t watch advertisements of homeless, abused animals. I can’t watch the death throws of National Geographics starving polar bears. I’ve tried….it’s like razor blades across my chest. Their plight sucks me in and swallows me whole. I turn into a blubbering mess of rage. No good to them, no good to me. Pro-active and compassion cannot be divided in this body. I don’t know how and I won’t get close enough to find out. I am a coward and I am ashamed.