Monday, July 21, 2008

What have you learned from other animals?

Not only learned, but am learning. Little Carolina Wrens seem to stay close by me, supporting me, reminding me (as Ted Andrews’ Animal Speaks book says) to believe in myself and “to be bold.”

Wrens are a small bird with a big voice, and a daring spirit. It’s hard to believe that such a loud song can come from such a small body. And, they dance while they sing, swinging side to side, throwing that voice the widest arc possible. Carolina Wrens are rust brown, and they can be seen hopping all over anything where they might find bugs and spiders. I used to have a tractor, and every time I stopped that tractor in front of the house after mowing the property a pair of little wrens would cover that thing—underside, topside, tires, seat—picking up all the bugs that had hitched a ride.

Carolina wrens will build a nest of moss and fibrous strings that look like what could be imagined as a fairy bed. Perhaps this is why some pagan traditions consider the wren sacred to the earth gods and goddesses. If you are lucky, a little wren will grace you with its nest in a mailbox, a bucket, or even an unmoving vehicle.

The Animal Speaks book says of Wren, “The wren is a bold and resourceful bird. One Native American tale speaks of a time when the wren tricked the boasting eagle into carrying it far into the heavens, until the eagle could go no higher. At that point the wren hopped off eagle’s back and flew beyond the clouds, laughing at how much higher it was flying than the eagle ever would.”

For some particular blessings, wrens have always been very tolerant of my presence. They will come very close and sing, and watch me, turning their head and listening to me speak in response to their song. There was even a particularly trying time when an almost all white (very rare) male wren showed up around my bird feeders. The first couple of times I saw it, I thought it was a trick of light. However, in time, this white wren came close to sing to me and let me be certain that I was seeing accurately.

Though wrens have a special significance to me, I believe watching any animal (or any thing) in nature can teach us, remind us. We align ourselves to what we give our attention, so watching something that is in accordance to the rhythm of nature starts to bring that remembrance back from the depth of our subconscious.

Is there a particular animal that's taught you a lesson, be it a pet or an entire species?

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