not people

As I was picking blackberries this morning, I was startled by a little snake.  She was suspended in the blackberry thicket, maybe finding the air more pleasant than the wet ground, maybe hunting the frogs that inhabit the ditch below the berries.  For just a moment, I was an Eve – thinking about fruit, but temporarily captivated by the beauty of this creature, her slender muscularity, the elegance of the racing stripes down her back.  I reached out to touch her smooth scales and she slipped away.  The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has long been among us.

snake

this isn’t her, but a beauty nonetheless.

*

Outside our bathroom window there is log where the skinks and lizards sit to catch some morning light.  A young one, with a bright blue tale, creeps out to bask for a moment.  The moment is brief because an older skink, twice the size of its kin, emerges and chases away the freshie.

*

kids 2After the excitement of the birth of our first goat kids here, we were astonished to find that the mama goats want nothing to do with each other’s kids.  If anything, they appear disdainful of them.  Given the chance, they butt them or nip the little one’s tails if they come too close.  We have even witnessed the does go out of their way to jostle the other’s kid while it was nursing.

What kind of survival tactic is this, we wonder?  Surely the herd would thrive if they were kind to one another’s offspring?

It’s disappointing.

It’s also a little bit terribly poignant.

*

elder flowerThe national and international news reel of the past couple weeks has been brutal.  I feel bruised at the soul every time I turn on the radio.  This is a reminder – the concept of humanity as a unity – the concept that we are all HUMAN and more alike than not – is a relatively new concept.  And it is fragile.

I’ve never had a problem with thinking of humans as animals.  We are animals with extraordinary brains, however, and it’s obvious that we have intellectual and spiritual potential beyond many (I won’t say all) of the creatures with which we share the world.  Surely we need not be bound by the same blind territorial instincts as our relatives.  I can only hope and pray that enough of us, striving against our lower instincts, can hold a peace.

Fear and Greed, and the Anger and Violence that abet their motives, are our enemies,           not people.

 

inspired

Says Ram Dass:  “I remember once lecturing in a hall back in the early 70’s. At that time most of my audiences were very young and they tended to wear white and they tended to smile a lot and wear flowers. At that time I wore beads and had a long beard. I recall that in the front row of my audience there was one woman who was about 70 and she had on a hat with little cherries and strawberries and things like that on it, false ones. And she was wearing black oxfords and a print dress and she had a black patent leather bag and I looked at her and I couldn’t figure out what she was doing in the audience cause she was so dissimilar from all the rest of the audience.

Our audiences were like a gathering of explorers clubs where we would come together and we would just share our experiences. So I started to describe some of my experiences, some of which were pretty far out and I looked at her and she was nodding with understanding, and I couldn’t believe that she could understand what I was talking about. I was describing experiences that I had had after using psychedelic chemicals, experiences that were very precious and far out. So I would try a little further out experience. I’d look over at her and there she was nodding away. I began to think maybe she had a problem with her neck that lead her to nod and maybe it had nothing to do whatsoever with what I was saying. And I kept watching and getting more and more fascinated and getting more and more outrageous in what I was saying and she kept nodding and nodding. At the end of the lecture I couldn’t resist, I just kind of smiled to her so intensely that she just had to come up and speak to me. And she came up and she said “Thank you so much. That makes perfect sense. That’s just the way I understand the universe to be.” And I said, “How do you know? I mean, what have you done in your life that has brought you into those kinds of experiences?” She leaned forward very conspiratorially and she said, “I crochet”. ”

(excerpt from the Ram Dass book “Polishing The Mirror: How to Live From Your Spiritual Heart” – if you like stories like this, please look it up and read more.)crochet

Amen, sister!