Hiya Radiant Renegades
💙💚💙 I arrive at Green Diva Meg’s magical home, ready for a delightful stint of dog sitting. 10 days in the woods. 10 days of quiet. Daily walks around a beautiful lake with her devoted dog, Gracie. I get to hang with the heron and gab with the geese. A sapphire sky sprawls out before us. It’s heaven on earth. 🌳💦 🌊
The cool camouflaged snake
A sign appears on my first walk. A snake!🐍 I feel so excited to have noticed her, wonderfully camouflaged along the trail. So much exciting life in these woods!
Ten minutes later, my mood plummets. I see half of a mutilated snake, jaws gapping open in wide-eyed shock. Did it suffer? It’s just the circle of life, I say, trying to soothe my heart. I’ve always loved animals. But I’m pained by predators and not at home with the ways of the wild.
The next morning, I notice one of the unique brown squirrels… and an adorable baby bouncing behind her! AW! 🐿 I watch them closely, totally enjoying their twitchy athletics. Later that day, I feel a sudden nudge to grab the binoculars and look out the front window (which I’ve never done – it’s partially blocked.) As I’m peering out across the lawn, a fox runs right into view! WHOA! 🦊 I follow the fox with my lens, feeling SO happy that I listened to the nudge. Then I notice a soft bundle in her mouth. Oh. No. As she’s running, she drops it! What the?
Sunset on Meg’s lake
The fox zips out of view and I swing my lens back to the motionless furball. What is it? Please not a baby bunny. Please. My heart is dipping into sadness & shock, once again. I wait awhile, but the fox does not return for the meal. I feel horribly compelled to go look. But I can’t look. But it’s right on the path where we walk. Crap. I have to look. No I don’t want to look.
I’m gonna go look.
I walk out across the expansive green lawn with Gracie, for comfort and courage. My eyes are glued to the spot where the sweet bundle lies. I’m braced for the bunny.
But it’s a baby red squirrel.
What. The. Hell!
The circle of life… again!?!
I stare bleakly, as Gracie sniffs the adorable baby. Death makes me droop. Is the mama squirrel distraut? Why can’t I accept that death follows life?
The universe is being very loud. What’s the message?
A few hours later, the lil body is still there. I’m hoping it won’t go to waste.
Vulture perched above us
As Gracie and I head into the woods, there is a a loud flurry of flapping. A huge vulture lifts off the path and perches above our heads.
All this LIFE in the woods, and Death will NOT shut up.
I text my hubby the eerie deets of the day. He sends a photo of a ginormous feather he found in our yard and writes, “it’s from a deep doo-doo bird.”
OMG vultures are circling.
Live snake. Dead snake. Live squirrel. Dead squirrel. Vulture. Vulture. Is someone gonna die??
Vulture feather (deep doo-doo bird)
I wake up the next day and find a deer tick embedded in my side 🕷 Nooooo! And there’s a bloody bull’s eye, already! ACKKKKKK! Invaded! After some pulling, pain and panic, I finally remove the beastie, but it’s black grappling hooks are left in my side.
This is NOT fair! Nature is where I feel at home, in awe, connected, but now the glory of the Great outdoors is circling the drain! Why would the Earth attack me?
As I drive to the health food store, and talk to the naturopath, I resist the answer.
Mother Nature isn’t betraying me. My BS (belief system) is. My fears already had me circling the drain. I’m a wilderness wannabe, but I continually worry that my dwarfed body isn’t safe in this world. Vulnerable. Victim. Ah ha. I’ve become the prey I feared. My BS is confirmed! (BS would rather be right than happy.)
Bonus BS – I have a deep distrust of the medical world, even though it’s come to my aid in the past. I DO NOT WANT antibiotics! But I know I can’t fool around with Lyme disease. I worship (and cling) to natural remedies. But I’m working to blend the two worlds, of medicine and metaphysics, without judgment.
I’m still terrified. And totally ticked. This tiny pain in my side brings old issues to the surface… and it feels like everything’s all WRONG… but maybe it’s to help me see that in the bigger picture, I’m always alright.
Magical pond at Meg’s, early morning
At the doctor’s office, the nurse tells me she’s had Lyme’s for 28 years. As she’s leaving the room, she turns back, as if nudged from beyond, and says tenderly, “you know, ticks are a part of the circle of life.”
My jaw drops open like the wide-eyed snake.
“I canNOT believe you just said that,” I tell her. “That’s been going through my mind for two days!”
“I couldn’t understand why God created ticks,” she said, “so I read up and found that ticks help clean up the environment. Like vultures.”
“No. Way.” I stared at her, gobsmacked. I feel a profound awe and relief.
The lake where I stayed
We live in a dynamic, interactive ecosystem. It breathes through us and speaks to us, as us. Animals, water, sky, nurses and even ticks. Life and death are divine dance partners. We came here to take the crazy, complicated, courageous steps. To walk in each other’s moccasins. To dive into the dark and remember our own reflection of light. And to lovingly @#$% embrace our belligerent BS.
When we’re in deep doo-doo… it isn’t the circumstances that cause the lasting pain, it’s our beliefs about them. Fear tells us we’re alone, wounded, and the vultures are circling. The truth says we’re One with it all. We draw to our side (or embedded IN our side) whatever will bring up our BS so we can return to wholeness… and let go of the grappling hooks.
FYI I learned that ticks are a major food source for birds, reptiles etc. If we erased them (or mosquitoes, fleas, poison ivy etc…) we’d further mess with the balance of nature.☯
We already live off the Earth quiet mindlessly, and yet she’s a forgiving host. We complain about insects and inconvenience… and yet our collective footprint melts glaciers. Kills bees and trees. We’re the predators. In my tiny tick-attack, the tables were turned. Circle of dark and light.
What ticks you off?
What’s sucking the life out of you?
What fear needs to die, so something better can be reborn in you?
Meg’s dog, Gracie & the setting sun
Fighting our troubles is a form of violence against ourselves. We add to our suffering by insisting that life be other than “what it is.” When we reject what the foxy universe presents, we miss the hidden bundles that heal our inner wild.
When the old BS is circling, our prayers are bringing unexpected answers. Take that leap of faith. Accept life with an open heart. Trust your soul’s nudges. And smile across the mysterious wilderness.
With a deep bow.
💞✨ Sending lotsa love and light,
☀💚 in the circle that moves us all,
P.S. The oldest known fossilized tick was discovered in a piece of amber in NJ (where I am, lol.) It’s 90 million years old! They must be doing something right. So let’s keep on ticking… just like they do.
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Photo from my favorite park and pond