Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to receive a lesson from Nature

Several weeks ago I posted a blog about taking in a stray cat.  She has become a fine shamanic medicine teacher for me—although the lessons haven’t been easy on my ego.  I think we humans have a tendency to think we know best about almost everything concerning Nature and her creatures.  At least I imagined that the sturdy nest box I built and fitted with an insulated pad was just right for safety and comfort.  The Mama cat seemed to tolerate being inside and I was so pleased with my being in charge of her family.  And then our house sitter brought her friendly but large dog inside one cold night and Mom and the kids promptly decamped to the wilderness.

I was rough with anxiety for their safety.  What of the wolves? And owls? And everything else large and carnivorous lurking just outside the fence? When we returned I followed her after a morning food visit, and came upon a pile of kittens in a hollow log. And isn’t a hollow log the perfect wild nest with its soft, springy floor, rain-shedding cedar overhang, and entrance ramp of powdery wood?  But again I meddled, imagining that I could add a windbreak, and move her food conveniently close.  And again she moved her babies.

This time I was rough with myself: full of self-criticism at my inability to get it.  The only thing this wonderfully competent, mostly wild mother needed from me was trust. I vowed not to go and look for her new location—and managed a whole day of not knowing.  But then I was returning to the hollow log to move the remains of my interference, and up popped a Mama cat head.  She had only moved the kittens to a ground level room because presumably they were a few days too big to fit inside the log which had now become a playpen.  So there I was, stymied again.  None of this was about me.  This feline spirit of place was just going about her day, making decisions for her family, full of the rightness of her instinctual knowing.

This journey has become another kind of oracle reading for me.  Now I just go watch the kittens play in the log while Losha and I sit in companionable silence. And by the way, I’m learning to not bring anything to fix her beautiful wilderness nursery.