I honored the Solstice on the 20th by playing my 3 Native American flutes in the Forest Preserve, under a 6-trunked tree next to a clear-running stream. Just after the last note died, a doe approached from across the stream, apparently drawn by the sound. She nibbled leaves off various branches, and slowly, silently drew closer, unconcerned by my presence. Because I was aware that in the shamanic tradition, the unbidden appearance of an animal usually has something to teach us, I sent a thought to her, “Do you have a message for me, Lady Deer?”
Her head swung round sharply (though I had not moved or spoken and the wind had not shifted) and she gazed at me motionless for long moments. Finally, “No, I don’t think so,” was the gentle response. “We are just sharing the space.” And then, some moments later, she turned and melted deliberately back into the forest. Apparently she had completed her share of sharing.
And yet I DID perceive a message in the encounter. Long, long ago, before things went so terribly wrong between humans and Nature, this equable and harmonious sharing of space was so simply and utterly normal as to be unremarkable. It was always, as it is still, a Gift, like Light and Air, Earth and Water, and Life itself. And like these other Gifts, it has been subjected to human indifference and mistreatment ever since we decided we were separate from Creation and the Creator and therefore could exploit Nature rather than tend it with no cost to ourselves. But just as on the Solstice we reach a tipping point in the year, in this decade we are also reaching a tipping point, when the energy of the Healers will outweigh that of the Exploiters, and Earth will find a new and more wholesome balance.
And so I believe that ultimately, these moments of “sharing the space” will return to being normal, like clean air and water. But perhaps we’ll feel deeper appreciation because they were lost and are found again. Our appreciation, actually, can begin right now.