What is it about our encounters with nature that thrills us so? Those tidbits of bliss, egoless moments, swept up in mysterious and profound wild.
On an unusually warm day in autumn, Amish organic farmer David Kline came upon a woodchuck napping by a tree. “Taking my walking stick,” he says, “I reached out and gently scratched its back. Instead of waking, as I expected it to, the woodchuck arched its back in appreciation; its movements seemed to say: ‘Ah, that feels good.’”
Biodynamic farmers often note a response in wildlife on their farms after applying biodynamic preparations that, in a sense, feed and nourish the forces of nature and earth.
In working with biodynamic and other healing methods for trees in my yard, the response from nature always astounds me: a fox greeting me as I walked out my back door and bald eagles flying overhead, singing, after I had treated one particular tree.
I live in an area surrounded by woods, so these encounters are more “natural” given the setting. But I had one encounter years ago with a bird at the Mall of America in Minnesota that I will never forget.
I had just finished shopping and was walking down the steps of a parking ramp when I noticed a sparrow flying into a Plexiglas wall trying to get out. I tried to catch it in my shopping bag, to no avail. I said a little prayer to Saint Francis.
Then I looked at the bird and said, “Look, you’re not going to get out of here without my help, so you’re going to have to cooperate.” The bird then jumped on the top of my shopping bag, which I was holding out to it, and we proceeded down another flight of steps.
Once we got to the entrance, I said to the sparrow, “Now you can go.” It flew happily away. A guy by the entrance watching the whole thing said, “Boy, are you lucky.”
A few weeks ago, I came home after a medical procedure, feeling pretty somber. It was night, and I heard a sound outside the back door so I flipped on the lights. There, just a few yards away, three baby raccoons were climbing around a tree.
After a few moments, they came down continuing to snack on birdseed I had dropped on the patio. They were incredibly cute. Then one came up my steps and looked at me through the screen door, as if to ask, “Are you okay?”
Sweet and wild.
© Kara LeBeau 2008. All rights reserved for text and above photo.
“Thou hast to become as one with Nature’s Soul-Thought. At one with it thou art invincible. All Nature thrills with joyous awe and feels subdued; the silver star now twinkles out the news to the night-blossoms, the streamlet to the pebbles ripples out the tale; dark ocean-waves will roar it to the rocks surf-bound, scent-laden breezes sing it to the vales, and stately pines mysteriously whisper: “A Master has arisen, a MASTER OF THE DAY.”