I have been carrying heavy weight in my heart about the plight of the animals on the planet. In the early years of the new millinium, my desire to do something, to honor the animals that were leaving the planet, manifested in an off-the-chart adventure. Judith, my wife and I, bought land, built a small reed house, and commuted back and forth from the states to venture into the bush and commune with the animals of South Africa.
Most ventures in the bush involved sending love, gratitude and “I am sorry for what we are doing to you” waveforms to the animals. Lions, leapords, elephants, giraffe, rhino, impala, kudu, waterbuck, zebra, cheetah, hippo, amongst all of the other myriad of creation, we greeted and sent our love and hope for healing to them. Of course, all the time (except for some walks) riding around in a land rover, consuming fossil fuels….
My grief seemed to come to a most recent head right around the winter solstice sweat lodge (12/22/21), when the energies of that auspicious time intensified.
We had just given away our dear chickens late in November. We had raised five of them, to whom we gave goddess names, and lived with them for 5 years. They were delightful and very productive until last year. We let them roam a lot around the property, which always brought a fond moment seeing them wander by, talking to each other.
The small tired me was weary from caring for them, and winter was coming, the most difficult time to care for chickens in Oregon. So I did some research and gave them to a chicken sanctuary. It was quite a process, for on the appointed day, I could not catch the one last one. I drove 2 hours with all but Isis, and turned them over to their new caregiver. The next day, I caught Isis and made the second trip with her. The place was not ideal, with several aggressive roosters, but the caregiver had plans for integration or separation, and I was happy they would be cared for by someone with such a huge heart.
The solstice lodge came, and was very powerful. On the inner, while I poured the lodge, I worked on my animal grief. The next morning, I awoke, and I swear I could hear the chickens calling to me. They were telling me that they were animals that I could actually do something about with regards to being a steward of animals on earth. So I called the caregiver and told her I would be coming to get the chickens, and thanking her profusely for being there at this time of sorting things out.
I also called my teacher/mentor and cried some on the phone about my overall grief, and my plans to get the chickens back. She said, “you should really look at what’s underneath this grief.” In my heart I knew that that was not the time for that particular investigation (see part 2), and I just felt grateful that I was given such clear guidance from the chickens to come get them.
And so I did. I went to get them. Loksmi, Isis, Sekmet, and White Tara all came back with me. We let them back into their roosting coop. Judith and I stood for an hour and watched them. They engaged in what I could only imagine the chicken version of “kissing the ground” upon reaching home—they burrowed into their bedding material on the floor of the coop, throwing shavings on their back, then rolling and rolling in the shavings. You could sense their having their eyes roll back into their heads in clear, pure joy. It was an amazing sight to behold. They were home, and we were so happy. A healing for sure.