A Wild Thing

“Today I saw a…”

Full disclosure, I’m writing this post a week early and scheduling it to publish while I’m on my retreat… But today, or for you all, a week ago, I saw a deer.

Now, this is nothing special “up here” in the Colorado Rockies, yet it stands out in my mind because of something my grandma said… “People coming from the city will see that and think it’s really something…”

We were sitting near the window at a newly opened restaurant a few towns over – the one we traverse about 13 or so miles to get to for our grocery shopping and most other sub-civilization needs. I didn’t take a picture. I didn’t stare. Again, I didn’t think much of it…

I see deer daily. Herds of them mosey through our front yard, dally by the back roads and intermingle with my periphery quite often. S’pose I’m a bit desensitized to the wonder of it all, to the glory of “wildlife.”

I am blessed to have these opportunities to witness nature, untamed and unconstrained. Yet, I don’t really percieve the deer, hawks, raccoons, foxes and the occasional bear or bobcat as that magnificent.

Don’t get me wrong, I am astonished by their beauty, immensely respectful and grateful for their existence, as well as even sensitive to the innate symbolism and resonance of their appearance when it seems out of character or blatantly synchronous with other patterns in my life. It’s just that I’ve never experienced the great chasm of separation from these creatures the way that my grandmother assumes, probably rightly, that people living in urban areas do.

I’ve always been a creature too…

Apart from the blessings of living here now as an adult, I’ve also grown up here. Other than an internship, college and my travel adventures, I’ve always been a “mountain girl.” This is home and the wildlife are my kin.

It makes me sad to think that there are children who grow up without an entire National Forest to explore in their backyard. I marvel at the thought of going to play outside on concrete sidewalks and other manufactured structures rather than climbing trees, making forts on the sides of mountains and having to take the family rotties everywhere because predators roamed along the deer trails we used to navigate the woods…

No wonder the world is the way it is; so fractured, so fake, so surreal…

I’m listening to a book in preparation for my retreat that talks a lot about this separation from nature that humankind has become so obsessed with. The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein. I’ve found it quite fascinating, especially to hear time and time again echos of my own disjointed and “socially unfit” thoughts and convictions.

It talks about the cult of technotopia and how humans are always looking to gain more control over nature. How things like agriculture, language and even art serve to disconnect and fragment our own nature from that of the natural world… And most importantly, how this has essentially robbed us all of our fulfillment, joy and purpose.

I highly recommend getting this book for yourselves as there is truly so much information and the author is extremely thorough in his anthropological excavations of the entirety of human existence. There is no way for me to even hope to summarize and explain its immense value in this post. Still – seeing that deer, hearing my grandma’s words and realizing my own wealth of natural experiences has directly triggered a bit of meditation on the information it contains.

I think, feel, live and experience my being the way I do because of my connection to nature…

I am so grateful. I am so blessed… For every creature, plant and rock – and today especially, for that deer.

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