Many people wonder why I get so excited about the opportunity to return to Earthfire Institute for A Walk on the Wild Side with wolves, bears, coyotes, foxes, cougar and other wildlife. They tell me that they would be scared, that I am braver than they are, or just look at me skeptically and I can tell they think I’m crazy.
And that is because they don’t understand that I’m not going to LOOK at wildlife, I’m returning to Earthfire to be BE with individuals with unique and distinct personalities. Wise ambassadors for each of their species, at our first event in 2010 the animals trusted us, and welcomed us into their very special family.
There’s Mr. Pinkerton, the almost blind Canadian lynx, whose courage and ability to live in the moment continues to inspire me. Sitting in a sunny meadow with our group and having him calmly walk amongst us was a very special experience. As he walked it was clear that he was relying on other senses, that he could feel the love we had for him, and he appreciated it. And when he brushed up against me, I felt a thrill like nothing I had known before, and my spirit soared with joy.
And there’s Jenny, a wary 40-something year-old wild burro that I established a relationship with through communication and Reiki. Her old bones appreciated the offering, and she would actually attempt to drive the other burros away in order for us to spend some one-on-one time together.
And I will never forget Cucumber, the timber wolf who bravely entered a place she had never been in before to meet our group—strangers to her—because she believed in our mission to co-create a world where all species could all live together in harmony and understanding. She trusted Susan and Jean, her loving bridges to others, and how she extended that trust to our group is one of the most incredible and powerful moments of my life.
And then there’s Bluebell the buffalo, who always joined with us in ceremony, and whose response to the energy of our group reminded me of a very happy 1,000 pound puppy!
Feather the fox greeted us with fox manners and taught us how to be grounded, fully present and calm during a crisis.
The immensely loving presence of Windwalker the cougar brought tears to my eyes. In his interactions with wildllife expert Jean Simpson the love they have for each other is very clear even if you could not hear the rumbling purr. I was fortunate to be close enough to feel the vibration of his purr in the air and in my heart.
Pimpernel the coyote was a whirlwind of energy as she showed our group that every moment is an opportunity to be seized, shaken, and enjoyed to the last crumb.
Major Bear and Humble Bumble Bear demonstrated that great power and immense strength can also be paired with very gentle spirits.
Time and time again, each individual that we met taught us something about their species, something unique about themselves, and in our responses and interactions, we learned a lot about ourselves.
Could we place our trust completely in our own senses and in others as Mr. Pinkerton and Cucumber did? Were we as confident in our ability to tap into our inner strength at any time? Did we understand that knowing when to be gentle is a sign of confidence and strength, not weakness, as Major Bear showed us? Did we approach each moment of our lives with zest and desire to squeeze the last drop of enjoyment out of it like Pimpernel? And did we understand that if that opportunity did not work out it was not failure—there were many more out there to be explored?
So, this year I return again to Earthfire, not to look at animals, but to reconnect with them and learn more from them. And I know that when I arrive I will be welcomed warmly by my extended animal family and my heart leaps with joy knowing that we shall unite in ceremony and brotherhood once again.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Major Bear (named for the constellation Ursa Major), now in Spirit. Your wisdom and strength remains a powerful legacy, and I shall always remember your beauty and grace when I look up at the night sky.
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.