There must have been a Dance of the Turkeys on my driveway last night. While out walking this morning, I saw at least 40 turkey footprints, and there were some very big ones indeed, with a middle toe of about 5 inches! A few deer hoofs were tracked into the mud, too, and I saw wild animal scat but I am not well-enough trained to identify what animal left it.
How intricately these wild animals are part of nature, I thought, and how vulnerable they are to the shifts and changes that will result because of global warming. I was reminded of the words of a wise and thoughtful Cherokee medicine priest, David Winston, who told me that the Cherokee believe that humans are here on Earth, in part, as caretakers of the Great Life. Creation gave us all gifts, he said, and the gifts are the basis for that specific species’ offering back to Creation. The bee makes honey, the maple tree runs sap and the silkworm spins silk.
Our gift as humans is our large cerebral cortex, he says, and our offering or role is to find our way back to the path of being truly human and to leave the Earth better than we found it by using our problem-solving abilities. He says this gift was too much for us and, traumatized, our spirit shattered into two, our hearts as one and the shadowy side of human nature as the other. The result of this shattered spirit is the “John Grabs All” mentality toward the Earth.
Weaving our heart and shadow back together is very hard work, what the Cherokee call remaking yourself. This is necessary to heal so that we may find our way back to fulfill our sacred spiritual contract and become caretakers of the Earth.
I have a deep sense of trust that humans’ problem-solving abilities will begin to get a handle on solving global warming. Next time around, instead of “John Grabs All” we will humbly acknowledge that we are all interconnected and we need to caretake the whole.
How are you being a caretaker of the planet, or the animals on our planet? Share your thoughts in the comment field below.