As this past Saturday night segued into very early Sunday morning, I found myself unable to sleep. An emotional issue I had been wrestling with had turned into a physical problem, as they sometimes do, and I became a bit, well, afraid. Let's call it what it was. Fear. Not-so-good, old-fashioned fear. I had earlier, with the help of a friend who is a spiritual healer, found much relief but the middle of the night can sometimes trigger renewed fear and there I was. I didn't want to call and wake her so I sent out a request for some help, specifically from what I have come to know as my spirit guides. These can take a variety of shapes and forms but lately they seem to come in the form of animals or some other aspect of nature. This night, I had a strong sense of three coming into my thought. No form, just the presence of three.
Within a few minutes I heard a distant sound coming ever closer. I recognized it as coyotes passing through, passing through so close they could well have ran right through my yard. As they yipped away, perhaps three - no way to know for certain - I got up and went down the hall to see if I could get a visual but they had already moved into the field beyond. I had heard them only one other time while here in my new place and that was shortly after I moved in. This was a real treat. I went back to bed feeling better and remembered how coyotes have always spoken to me.
While living in Santa Fe I would often see them outside my window playing in the arroyo, looking for rabbits. They would even come onto my patio occasionally, looking in my window as they passed by. At the last place I lived in Santa Fe, a month or so went by and I had not yet seen any there so I asked for a visit. Within an hour or so a pair were outside my window, running around and playing, and then resting under a nearby juniper. I was so grateful for the quick response, then and now.
When I awoke in the morning and went into the kitchen I had another affirmation of being cared for. There on the bird feeder, right outside my window, were three very large crows. This is the same feeder the ruffed grouse had sat on several days earlier. I had never seen any there or even in my yard all summer; I had only heard them in the woods and fields surrounding my place. But, there they were. They hesitated for a second or two after I came up to the window then flew off into the woods.
I hesitate to share the rest of the story but will because it's a part of my life, a part that has come to mean a great deal to me although I don't fully understand it or know what to make of it myself.
I was never one for getting "readings" from an intuitive or seer, I just never felt drawn to that, but I had felt led to do so just before leaving Santa Fe last summer. An opening occurred in this woman's schedule and I was called to see if I wanted it. It was a very interesting experience. Then, I had another "reading," from an intuitive here in Minnesota, this summer. Neither woman was given any information regarding the others reading. Both readers told me they could see next to me one of my guides, a Native American ancestor of mine by the name of Falling Crow.
If you're still with me please hang on. This is a three part story.
Yesterday, around 10:00 in the morning, I was wanting to be outside, somehow participating in an international day of working with the earth, attempting to bring attention to the need for caring for Her. I went out to gather rose hips in the garden and was met with a swarm of gnats. I walked down to the river. More gnats. A lot of gnats. It was as though, I was not supposed to be outside, something I had trouble accepting. I went inside and got the nudge to get in the car and head for an area known here as the Foothills - twenty miles of forest roads, "Minimum maintenance, Travel at your own risk," a place I had not driven through for many years.
En route, just before getting to the sign that says, "Pavement ends," I was thinking about picking those rose hips earlier in the day, where, at the top of a long stem, two pink roses were in full bloom. I had almost buried my nose inside their velvet softness with that intoxicating scent. There in the car, I likened it to my love of horses and how much I like feeling and smelling their velvety noses and necks.
As I was thinking about this I drove over the next rise in the road and there were four horses, quite near the fence. I don't like to interfere with animals belonging to other people but I felt I should stop and acknowledge their presence. I got out of the car and walked through the ditch and over to the fence line. Three of the horses stayed just outside my reach while a fourth horse came over and quietly offered his soft black nose for me to touch. He did not make his neck available and I didn't push the issue. I was grateful for this moment, this gift.
I drove on through the Foothills, all twenty miles of almost-hidden ponds and woods of old white pines and quaking aspens, stopping by Green Lake, one of my favorite places from years before, to smell and feel the day. I saw it as an opportunity to honor nature, to see her whole and healthy. I also saw it as the perfect opportunity to meet and conquer my fears, especially around the issue I had been unnecessarily wrestling with the night before. I went by two small groups of four-wheelers who didn't seem as happy to see me as I was to see them, but that's okay. I silently affirmed that the Foothills belong to all of us, but mostly to the wild things that make it their home.
When I got back to my place, a couple of hours later, I decided to spend a few minutes in the garden and walking around the yard. My fear was gone and there wasn't a single gnat anywhere to be found.
Bill McKibben founded 350.org which organized this international event for 10/10/10.