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Thread: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

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    United States Moderator Ken's Avatar
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    Default Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Hey All!

    First, this thread is meant in no way to compete with Rachel’s wonderful thread for members, EXPERIENCERS: Sharing, Exploring, and Learning Together

    And to differentiate the two, this thread is not meant to include experiences of the overtly paranormal or transdimensional.

    Rather, with all the negative information and events that are communicated far and wide every day, I thought it might be uplifting to have a thread devoted to the sharing of, and learning from, special, spiritual, magical, and/or sublime experiences in nature.

    This could be virtually any kind of experience had while traveling, camping, hiking, looking at the night sky, gardening, birdwatching, simply existing, whatever!

    And I recognize that what may seem sublime to one may seem mundane to another. But, so what! Please do not be afraid to share. Nobody will make fun of you here

    To the Mods, if you feel this thread should be placed elsewhere, or already exists somewhere, please do with it what you will.

    I’ll start by sharing an experience that I’ve been meaning to write down for many years now and, this morning, I did just that.

    The Song of the Whale

    I awoke one summer morning to one of the most sublime, ethereal, events of my life. This was an event that seemed to bridge two worlds, the 3-dimensional, material one in which we go about our day to day life taking care of this, planning that; and another, more timeless and exalted, where magic finds its openings more easily.. more frequently.

    I opened my eyes in the soft gray light of dawn, well before sunrise, and was greeted by perhaps the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. A humpback whale was singing! But I was not in the water, I was in my tent just the other side of a thin row of mangroves from the beach.

    The songbirds surrounding our campsite, usually very vocal heralding a new day as dawn broke, were strangely quiet. I knew the sea was glass calm as, normally, while in camp, the gentle sound of the surf accompanied our activities. The rest of the time (most daylight hours), we could be found anywhere up to 1500 feet above and several miles away, conducting research.

    Everything was completely still and silent, but for the mournful call of a single whale.

    I unzipped my tent, stepped out, and stood up to listen. Silence.. The clouds had descended to ground level and fog washed my surroundings in various shades of gray. It was comfortably cool, perhaps 65 degrees.

    This was the second summer of four that I spent camped on an uninhabited island in Galápagos, 600 miles west of the coast of Ecuador. That’s what the inhabitants call the island archipelago, rather than adding a “the” before the name, it is simply Galápagos.

    I trod the very short path to the beach and stood listening in eerie stillness. There! There it was again. It was loud and sounded like it couldn’t have been more than 20 to 40 yards offshore. And yet.. I heard not one exhalation, which should have been clearly audible as the whale would have to surface in order to breathe.

    Could I be hearing the whale due to the dense fog? Could water suspended in droplets aloft be carrying the song of the whale? Or could it be due to some strange anomaly having to do with the shape of the beach, the surrounding topography?

    Four times in total, the unearthly calls of the whale echoed across the sand. Full of mystery and evoking the dark ocean depths. A tale of starlight and of moons risen and fallen. Ships come and gone. Loves lost.

    I did not imagine it, for my fellow researchers heard it from their tents as well. Each one noting it later in hushed and reverential tones. A magical and mysterious event not once repeated during four long summers. A gift never to be forgotten.

    Last edited by Ken; 29th December 2018 at 22:50. Reason: Eliminated extraneous detail.
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Well....I shall give you one of my first!

    Which is of 'nature' and is an aspect of such.


    I was asleep and then I awoke as a being was stood by me.

    Said being was approximately 6 foot and wore a hooded robe.

    The arms of this entity were very short....such as that of a Tyrannosaurus rex and were casting some such thing above me!

    Now this is natural and is of nature.

    Personally I got the 'hump' and literally 'kicked' said being 3 times, who backed away....then I told it to F off or come at me .......and then I watched it leave!

    So the above is an account of interaction within a natural environment.

    It is correct and true as far as I recall.

    But I am unsure if this is that which you want?

    Was it spiritual....no.

    Was it of the Natural World (this world)....as far as I have knowledge....YES.
    Normal..!

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Quote Posted by lake (here)
    Well....I shall give you one of my first!
    Haha!! We’ll take it, thank you, Lake!

    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    United States Avalon Member RunningDeer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    I played with inner vision and kinesthetics in the 1990’s. I hung three Christmas balls that looked like soap bubbles from my ceiling at different lengths over my bed. It gave the illusion that they were floating.

    My partner randomly picked the ball for me to move. He’d pick the direction: forward-backward, left-right, circle. For the finale, he included the other two.

    I demonstrated the power of the mind and belief to him. I just visualized. I saw them moving. I had him try it. He didn’t believe he was doing it without my help. So I told him not to tell me which ball and make it move. He still didn’t believe he did it even though it worked.

    You may feel a sensation in the heart, stomach, belly button region or slightly lower in the dan tien; whichever is your ‘hotspot’. How I explain the sensation is like when you're high on a swing and are about to come down. Capture that feeling and move the balls.


    I had taken the balls down when my partner passed. About a year ago, I hung new ones in four places where I spend quiet time. I’ve not been able to move them.

    While I’m writing out this post, I looked up at the one hanging above my kitchen table and it’s moving back and forth. It stops and when I put focus on it there’s slight movement again. A month or so ago, I was focusing on one set of three in the living room and got a knowing to check the ones behind me. Sure enough they were moving, but I rationalized that the heat kicked on and created flow. I don't know why I didn't think to check the heat unit.

    (If it were someone else, I'd say the knowing signal tells me it wasn't the heat flow that moved them.)


    Recently I copied what Bill had written on his “Question-and-Answer” thread. It resonated with me. I called the document: Why x-mas bulbs no longer work.

    Bill’s post:
    One of the obstacles in time-consuming, repetitive, routine tests was that of boredom. No matter how talented the research subjects were, or could be, once the experimentation became laborious, humdrum or monotonous, the anomalous results almost always dropped off very quickly.
    Last edited by RunningDeer; 29th December 2018 at 22:19.

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Quote Posted by RunningDeer (here)
    I played with inner vision and kinesthetics in the 1990’s. I hung three Christmas balls that looked like soap bubbles from my ceiling at different lengths over my bed. It gave the illusion that they were floating.

    My partner randomly picked the ball for me to move. He’d pick the direction: forward-backward, left-right, circle. For the finale, he included the other two.

    I demonstrated the power of the mind and belief to him...
    VERY cool, RunningDeer! Whenever I've tried to exercise PK abilities, it's always been on something like a glass sitting on a table, rather than something that might be a little less stubborn, like your hanging Christmas balls. I believe this is one of those natural abilities that we all possess, but have lost sense of how to access. I'll have to give it a try!

    Thanks for the idea
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    United States Avalon Member RunningDeer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    This one comes from the Spoonbending (how to!) thread:

    Note: These days I mostly use natural skills like inner vision, knowing and auric field, rather than focus on sensations in the heart, stomach, belly button region or slightly lower in the dan tien.

    My spoon bent and then bent back with a slight bump.





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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    I have a share from some years ago when I was staying in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. One afternoon, I was sitting in the kitchen of an apt. I had rented when a black bird came and sat on my window sill outside and began singing a beautiful song. I decided to join in with whistling and humming. We kept up this exchange for a long spell before the bird flew away. After that afternoon, s/he returned every day at about the same time in the afternoon and we serenaded each other for at least 15-20 minutes. This routine lasted for a good chunk of the 3 months I spent in Ecuador and I consider these visits among the highlights of my stay in there. I sure hope my little friend found a new singing companion after I left. I think about him often and miss him.

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Quote Posted by Jill (here)
    I have a share from some years ago when I was staying in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. One afternoon, I was sitting in the kitchen of an apt. I had rented when a black bird came and sat on my window sill outside and began singing a beautiful song. I decided to join in with whistling and humming. We kept up this exchange for a long spell before the bird flew away. After that afternoon, s/he returned every day at about the same time in the afternoon and we serenaded each other for at least 15-20 minutes. This routine lasted for a good chunk of the 3 months I spent in Ecuador and I consider these visits among the highlights of my stay in there. I sure hope my little friend found a new singing companion after I left. I think about him often and miss him.
    Jill, what a lovely experience! A gift from the universe to you. I wish my Ecuador field guide wasn't in storage, I could probably figure out what bird it was. I'm guessing it was probably one of the thrushes. There are a number of them in SA and many sing beautifully.

    I have another experience that I will share here. Again, it is one I will never forget. Sorry if my experiences seem to take the form of a story but I am almost finished reading (at Bill's suggestion on his Q&A thread) Gifts of Unknown Things by Lyall Watson. Thank you, Bill! What a wonderful book!!

    Okay, here goes..

    Many years ago, almost 50 in fact, I spent half of the summer in Ocean Beach on Fire Island, off the southern coast of Long Island, NY. It was a somewhat tumultuous time in my life, my parents had separated a couple of years earlier and my father had just remarried.

    My new stepmom was a good person, and her young daughter, my stepsister, was delightful. But things were not all as they should be and a rather dark cloud hung over my brother and sister and me.

    We spent the first half of the summer with my dad and his new little family, and then we went to Fire Island with my mom to stay in the house (a large house) of my best friend and his family. Our families had been friends ever since Adam and I had hit it off in 4th grade.

    Fire Island is a long, thin strip of sand, a barrier island, that is sparsely inhabited during winter, but in summer, it comes alive with thousands of summer residents and tourists - much to the dismay of the year-round residents.

    Most the houses on the island are set amongst a gridwork of small cement or wooden walkways; no cars are permitted during much of the year, including the summer. Many houses are in the classic Cape Cod style, dark wood shingles weathered a silvery-gray.

    Lovely little gardens replete with hydrangea and roses and such. Very little lighting other than that shining onto the paths from the houses. It was very safe and we children ranged far and wide.

    There are a couple of small hamlets to the east that have been known as gathering spots for the LGBTQ community long before it was labeled with that acronym.

    Anyway, the summer wore on and Adam and I, his two sisters, my brother and sister, my mom, Adam’s mom (often away for reasons unbeknownst to us), Adam’s dad, and their au pair, all got along well except for little spats here and there common to children who are thrust together, all in one house.

    It later turned out that my mom and Adam’s dad were having an affair which really wreaked havoc among the adults and us children.

    But that is all just a backdrop for one magical night in August. It was warm and clear, there was no moon so the stars were particularly bright. We were out and about doing something, I don’t remember what, when a couple young friends approached excitedly, and said, “you’ve gotta go to the beach!”

    Well, we were on the beach just about every day, it was a hundred yards or so from the house, so we were not too impressed. “Why?” we asked.

    “It’s glowing!!”one of them said.

    So we headed up to the beach and were greeted by a scene I will never forget.

    The waves were alight with brilliant green phosphorescence! People.. couples, some in small groups, some alone, walked the shore and gathered here and there to gaze in awe.

    Every breaking wave and ripple was alight with green fire. Not only that, it soon became evident, as we pointed out excitedly to one another, that every step and impression that we made with our bare feet along the wet sand, was also alight with the same ghostly green glow! Only fading a good 5 to 10 seconds later.

    The night sky with its stars shining above, the ocean alit with a cool green fire below.

    “I bet this is why they call it Fire Island!” I exclaimed excitedly. We all agreed.

    A magical night forever etched in my memory. One of those peak moments that never fades..

    Happy New Year!!

    May we all experience such moments of joy this year

    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    I have to say, Forest Denizen, that you my friend transform your memories so beautifully into the written form....thank you

    I keep 'popping' back to this thread to dwell within your posts.... sumptuously delicious to consume

    I see by profession you are not an author....but have you ever written a book?
    Normal..!

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Quote Posted by lake (here)
    I have to say, Forest Denizen, that you my friend transform your memories so beautifully into the written form....thank you

    I keep 'popping' back to this thread to dwell within your posts.... sumptuously delicious to consume

    I see by profession you are not an author....but have you ever written a book?
    Why thank you, Lake!!

    I'll post something else to this thread in the next day or two.. They're actually fun to write

    I've never written a book but I may cobble something together in the somewhat near future. I come from a family of professional writers (movies, plays, books, television..) so I've learned sort of by osmosis.

    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    I'd love to share a marvelous little anecdote that (alas!) isn't mine, but told to me by a good friend.

    When my friend was a tiny girl, she often went hiking with her mother in Yosemite. One day, she and her Mom rounded a bend on the trail, and immediately found themselves facing a Momma bear with its little cub.

    The two Mommas and their cubs stood very quietly and gazed at each other for a long time. Then they slowly and carefully passed one another without incident, and both families continued on their way.

    50 years later, my friend remembers it all like it was yesterday. She was certain that each Momma deeply recognized the sanctity of motherhood in the other, and pledged they would do no harm.


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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    In the mid-1980’s, I was on my way to meditation that was reschedule on a day I usually attended healing service. I was in conflict but picked the meditation which was one exit away from the healing service.

    Still torn by my decision and bewildered, I pulled over, readjusted my seat and stared out the sun roof at the stars. It was 6:50 p.m., a few moments away from my 7:00 p.m. meditation class. I felt disoriented and confused by the indecision.

    During the meditation I experienced a split in vision. Where one eye watched a scene that was in black and white while the other was of a past life.

    It wasn’t until the following week that I found out the rest of the story. At the healing service, a man asked if I’d been experiencing any troubles lately. He went on to explain he has the ability to see people bi-locate. And that I was there a little before the 7:00 p.m. healing service.

    Last edited by RunningDeer; 17th January 2019 at 22:00.

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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    I think I have shared this story on Avalon before but I will share it again here.

    One day, I was out driving in the car with my son. As we drove the car towards home, I spied a great big cockatoo roosting in the tree.

    We quickly swerved to the side of the road and got out. I had never seen a bird like this before and so I zoomed in on him with my video camera. You can hear my son in the video saying "What kind of bird is that? I must look it up in my bird book."

    I had no idea either so I just stood there and filmed it, hoping that I might also identify it in our bird book.

    To my surprise, I heard the words, "Gang Gang" in my head. The cockatoo was letting me know who he was!

    So, I raced home, got onto the computer straight away, googled it, and low and behold, he was exactly who he said he was.
    Last edited by Constance; 17th January 2019 at 21:56.

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    Australia Avalon Retired Member
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    I often play this little game with my son when we are driving in the car, just for a bit of fun.

    He asks me to read his mind, and I oblige

    Here is one of the techniques I use to read his mind and sometimes, it can be quite accurate!

    If you imagine that you are tapping someones forehead, whilst you ask a question, you can quite often get a simple answer to what they are thinking.

    The answer will be in a very simple form, maybe just one word, or an image.

    The trick is to keep your mind empty and still as you are doing this and the answer will naturally come to you.

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  29. Link to Post #15
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    I will share a little tale....which to most will be of nothing but to me, well 20 years later and I still feel pangs of guilt!

    It is about trust and also as Constance has stated....reading minds?

    I had just arrived at a friends house, who's kitchen door lead onto a patio area which was enclosed by a 3ft wall except for a stone stairway up onto a lawn with trees and shrubs.

    As we entered the kitchen, I remarked that it was strange to have the rear door shut as it was near 95F (a good summer) and beautiful sunshine!

    My friend looked at me and said that it was necessary in order to keep the cats in as there was a hedgehog on the patio!

    I asked "How did a hedgehog get on your patio....The steps are too steep?" And was answered with a shrug of shoulders.

    So I went into the stoned area and saw a sad little being attempting to be as small as possible in one corner, walled in and cooking within that summer's heat!

    (damm making me bloody emotional again even typing this) So I stepped toward the tiny hedgehog, maybe 5ft away, and crouched down, putting my two open hands palm up on the concrete....and looked at the little bugger.......all the while repeating in my head "Trust me Trust me Trust me....."

    And that so tiny but wonderful part of creation....raised it's head, looked at me....stood fast, took a breath......and then slowly walked toward me and then on to my open palms.....

    I took it upto the end of the garden, put it under a large shrub, went and got the hose and proceeded to make it rain.

    Trust.
    Normal..!

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    United States Avalon Member RunningDeer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    In 2006, we lost sibling #8, our sister, Rebecca.

    Several years later, another sister, Marie and I were coming back from a weekend party at our cousins' place. I was prompted by Rebecca to share what I felt. I told Marie that Rebecca was with us the whole weekend. She agreed, but it was more out of courtesy.

    I added, “She’s in the back seat.”

    Then out of the blue silly putty popped in my head. Rebecca kept prodding me to pass along the message.

    “She's insisting that I ask you about silly putty.”

    Marie is holding back tears while she reaches into the console and pulls out a silly putty egg. Unbeknownst to me, Rebecca gave it to her the year before her passing. It was a reminder for Marie to play.

    Last edited by RunningDeer; 30th November 2019 at 17:57.

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    United States Avalon Member RunningDeer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Apologies for being a thread hogger.

    There was a place on the property that my siblings and I named, “Fairyland”. It was marshy with streams that meandered and broke off into smaller ones. The land was full of fiddlehead ferns and purple and white violets, skunk cabbage, lady slippers and thorns. It covered at least a couple of acres. We lined the trails that lead up to our secret place with fallen white birch trees. I only saw the fairies and elves out of the corner of my eye, and there was an inner knowing. I’d get that tickle in the belly and hear whispers and giggles.




    In another place on the property there was a thick sycamore grove where we’d hide from one another. I never had reason to wonder how but my elf and fairy friends helped me “float” while on all fours. It was a rush like no other. I giggled and rolled and floated with lightening speed. As strange as this sounds, I believed I turned invisible. It was a secret that I didn’t know not to share. It just never crossed my mind.




    In an unrelated story, several years back, the kids and adults went for an early evening walk. I caught my nephew who was six or seven give a wave towards a row of forsythia bushes. His face said it all. He checked to see if anyone saw what he saw. I leaned over and whispered, “You see them, too?” He shook his head and grinned.

    Last edited by RunningDeer; 18th January 2019 at 14:54.

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    United States Avalon Member mojo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    ...love the title to thread. There have been some fascinating encounters in nature above the standard deviation to theorize there's a special affinity with animals. This passion led to a degree in Natural Resources from U of A in Fairbanks. I could share on and on about some encounters but more important was reaching inside for understanding nature and in doing so helped greatly in a contact experience that was knocking at my door.

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    UK Avalon Member sunwings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    An anecdote told by the wonderful John Butler has always stayed with me. He was a sheep farmer during his early years and would spend all day with the flock. One day whilst sitting against a tree, he was contemplating his life choices and felt his mind slipping into a depression. At that moment the Ram of the flock, walked over to him and laid his head on John´s lap for around 15 minutes. He described it as the most magical moment of his entire life.

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    United States Moderator Ken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sublime and/or Spiritual Experiences of the Natural World..

    Okay first, a big Thank You to RunningDeer, Jill, Constance, Bill, mojo, sunwings, and lake, for your posts, I have enjoyed them all!

    This experience happened in the late 1990’s when I was working on a research project all up and down the Lower Colorado River, from the Mexican border all the way north to a point a number of miles into the Grand Canyon, at which point, we could go no further by motorboat.

    We were documenting the locations of breeding pairs and reproductive success of a small endangered bird, the southwestern willow flycatcher.

    It was a phenomenal time with countless hours spent boating alone or, at times with a colleague, on the river and searching adjoining suitable habitat on foot; sitting and listening intently for their calls and searching through, mostly, young stands of native willows and non-native stands of tamarisk, also known as salt cedar.

    There were many truly sublime moments as well as many grueling days spent searching for and observing nests, crawling on all fours through feral pig wallows amidst dense tangles of salt cedar forest, temperatures 100+ and humidity around 95%

    So, this was one of the sublime moments. I was inspired to write about it by Onahwah’s post:
    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    ...
    in the Your Soul's Pre-Birth Plan thread, about her spirit animal and the synchronistic meeting with her spirit animal in the physical.

    It’s also a follow-up to a post I made:
    Quote Posted by Forest Denizen (here)
    ...
    in the EXPERIENCERS: Sharing, Exploring, and Learning Together thread about meeting my spirit animal in a journey led by a shaman friend of mine months earlier.

    It was early one very hot, sunny morning (it often didn’t get down to less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit at night) in June and I was in the southern end of Imperial National Wildlife Refuge along the Colorado River north of Yuma, Arizona.

    I had bushwhacked into a particularly beautiful stand of big old willow trees and dense understory vegetation. The area was largely either flooded to a depth of about a foot or two, or marshy with small openings of wetland grasses, reeds, and cattails. A few game trails here and there snaked through the area.

    I found a fallen log in the middle of one of the small open patches, no more than 2 meters across, bordered by dense reeds and cattails, and took a seat. There was no breeze and everything was very still. The silence broken here and there only by the songs and calls of birds. No willow flycatchers. I was at peace, enjoying the moment.

    Soon, however, I became aware of a rustling in the vegetation not far from me. The log I was sitting on lay adjacent to a little game trail, no more than parted vegetation really, that I had taken advantage of to access the site. I waited. The rustling came closer. Probably just a coyote, I thought, searching for a morning meal.

    I sat silently, curious about what might be making the noise and whether whatever it was would sense my presence and move off the trail to avoid me. It didn’t. Instead, it grew closer. I watched where I knew it must appear out of the reeds no more than 2 to 3 feet from where I sat.

    I continued to watch as the rustling grew steadily closer, until.. out popped a badger! my spirit animal! Badgers are not known for being nice, nor are they known for being mellow. However, this individual stopped in its tracks and looked up at me. We gazed at each other for maybe 5 long seconds. I may have smiled, I’m not sure.. but I definitely was not afraid; far from it, I was delighted! At which point, the badger simply continued calmly on its way.

    It was the first time I had ever met a badger, my spirit animal, in the wild. Another one of those magical moments that I’ll never forget.

    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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