LIVING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE – Upon seeing this white seal, I thought of the American Indians and the legend that the appearance of a white buffalo would bring peace. I only wish that was so with this lovely white seal. People don’t seem to know how to live in harmony with wildlife much anymore. All it seems that most people see them as is a photo opportunity to prove to others that they were there, otherwise, people seem to want them to go “somewhere” else. I’ve heard many people state that the beaches in La Jolla “belong to the children & swimmers”. In other words, they don’t “belong to the wildlife who we share this Earth with. So even though humans have built homes, towns, cities and collect an endless amount of stuff, which requires more and more pillaging and polluting of the Earth, there apparently is no room for wildlife to live here with us.
Yesterday a dear friend shared with me that a bobcat had sat in her backyard for quite a while and that it was a sacred moment. We both agreed that these experiences with wildlife & nature are sacred and increasingly more rare. I started thinking about how American Indians and many other cultures see these visits from wildlife as messengers and that the animals are revered and can lead to spiritual enlightenment. I wish that more people were able to perceive the wonder of nature & wildlife.
I live in the large City of San Diego, yet I am aware of wildlife living in harmony with me on a daily basis. The raccoon and opossum who come to drink out of the water containers I put out on my patio are a few visitors that come mostly at night while we sleep, unaware of their presence. Recently, I had the privilege of seeing a raccoon bring her two babies to visit the water and they played like little fuzzy puppies at 3 a.m. and it was wonderous to me. Yet I also know of a person who lives on the edge of a canyon and paid to have 2 raccoons trapped and “relocated” because they damaged the vegetable garden. I wonder if they had babies? Raccoons are known as messagers of “presentors of new ideas and using creativeness when faced with new problems.” So the garden could have been fenced in or “raccoon proofed”, but instead the solution was to get rid of these “pests”.
So in order to justify getting rid of wildlife, humans demonize them. The large, ancient and sacred tree is cut down (& during the bird nesting season, too) because the birds poop on the car. Humans drive away the sea lions because they are noisy & smelly. We cut off shark fins for soup to heal us and throw them alive in the ocean to drown and don’t even see the irony in what we are doing. We kill wolves because they will eat one or two cattle raised for human consumption, which causes an overpopulation of deer who now come to eat our gardens. Now the deer are demonized and must be poisoned and killed. Animals are Factory Farmed with cruel animal abuse, but we don’t want to know. Whales are protected, yet still hunted for whale meat to serve to the wealthy & elite. Whales at one time were known as the record keepers for the Earth. We saw off elephant tusks and leave the babies to starve. We promote eating more fish for our health, but the oceans are so over-fished now that they may never recover. In our rush to eliminate inconvenient wildlife, we don’t even think about protecting them because we humans are so much more important. We have lost sight of the fact that if wildlife is eliminated, than so are humans. If the ocean dies, than so will humans. If Nature is out of balance, none of us will live.
& yet wildlife simply goes on living with humans. A fox in Colorado comes and curls up in the snow and takes a nap. The sea lions move from the human over-populated harbor to a small bluff area. The dolphins surf by the side of a boat allowing us to share their beauty & wonder. Dolphins are considered to be the keepers of the sacred breath of life. The whale migration moves further out to sea. Birds move their migration patterns of thousands and thousands of miles to try to survive another year. Yet it is not enough. Humans keep growing in population, consuming more space and are unable to understand and accept that we must all LIVE IN HARMONY.
So I watch the white seal and marvel at her beauty. I attempt to educate people about Harbor Seals and how humans almost hunted them to extinction for their fur and oil until they were protected in 1972 by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. & I hope. I hope that somehow people will FEEL the beauty of the wildlife & want to protect them, too. The seal messengers were said to be saying that when faced with changes in our lives, we will be protected. I hope that is true for all of us.