29 Sept 2008
Besides Arrow, my everpresent canine buddy, and Moosh, our sometimes present feline, I’ve always had an affinity with creatures. Years ago I was camping in the Cascades… had just pulled up camp and was heading for the trail out. I heard someone rustling under the trees to my right. Dropping my backpack, I headed down a faint trail, came to a 15′ clearing. In the center of the clearing were a few blackberry bushes. A black bear stood behind them, stripping berries. It seemed a long moment that we stared at one another, about 10″ apart. I was elated, and in awe at the gift of his presence. As he continued with his fruit salad, I turned and took my leave.
Another meeting with a bruin took place in Alaska. I was walking along a road cut into a hillside, about dawn. Snapping brush came from the steep hillside above me. Looking up I watched as a medium sized bear slid down the hill on his butt, forlegs outstretched. He bounced onto the road in front of me, glanced at me, then ambled across the road, climbed the guardrail, and continued his slide down to the beach.
When we lived in the North Bend area of Washington, it was sometimes my habit to drive to the nearest Starbucks outlet for morning coffee. While I sat in the truck eating breakfast, ravens would occasionally break off their spring courting to cadge crumbs. A female sparrow became aware of this, but was shooed off if she landed on the ground. I held my hand out with crumbs, and she alighted on my palm, chattering noiseily. The following morning the ravens were not around, altho she came for her bits. This time she demanded I throw them to the ground.
Our creatures often call to mind the following words…
“Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every pine needle, every sandy shore, every humming insect is holy…We are part of the earth and it is part of us…This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.”