In Wildness is the Preservation of the World

September 27, 2012 Christine McDonald Animal ConnectionsWild Animals

Writing by Thoreau

The wilderness my father and grandfather knew in the early 1900’s is no longer the wilderness we know today. Montana still retains much of its wild nature in National Parks, Wilderness Areas and National Forest but it has changed. It makes me sad to think of how much transformation has occurred in the last 100 years as wild pristine areas have been converted to cultivated fields and farms, and housing developments. Humanities quest to tame wild areas or wild animals seems to be hardwired into our unconscious thinking and doing. When we put a collar, or a fence, or a dam, or a foundation around “the wild” it makes us feel safer or less vulnerable to whatever it is we fear about the wild. Henry Adams writes chaos is the law of nature, order the dream of man. We seem to have created a very orderly society but have done little to address our fears of wild areas.

I have been contemplating this fear of “the wild” for some time and trying to bring into consciousness my own fears of wild animals and wilderness areas. A few days ago, as I was probing into this issue I had an encounter with a flock of turkey vulchers. I was hiking up a ridgeline when I encountered the vulchers. There were six of them. They immediately took an interest in me and followed me as I continued my hike along the open ridgeline. The young trees were low growing so there was nothing to stop them from getting close to me as they swooped and soared and rode the afternoon wind currents. They were amazingly beautiful in their acrobatic movements. I had never seem them do this but each one of them took a turn gliding to the ground in front of me and then hovering about 10 feet off the ground. There was a strong wind current and I marveled at their strength and precision in the ability to do this.


After watching them for some time, it was clear they were trying to get my attention and they were getting closer. Closer than I was comfortable with and my reaction was to pick up a stick. Just in case they got “too” close. Creative images of being attacked and devoured were swimming around my head. Like the ones you might see in Alfred Hitchcocks, The Birds. I was afraid of them as well as in admiration of them. I opened a line of communication with them. The first thing they said was “Put down your stick, we are not hear to hurt you. We are here to help you with your fear of the wild.” The minute I got the message they were gone.

Vulchers are scavengers and an important component of any healthy ecosystem. The word vulcher means purifier. I sense the vulchers wanted me to clean up or purify my consciousness around my fears of wild animals and the wilderness. I do not know how the vulchers will help me face my fears of wild animals. However since our meeting on the ridgeline, I have been seeing more wild animals; deer in a meadow and beautiful four point elk with velvety horns in the last few days.

I am offer these helpful hints to support you on your travels through wild areas where you might encounter wild animals:

  • Before entering an area where wild animals live you can extend a greeting and ask for safe passage through their environment. Ask that the animals be protected (this is really helpful if you are driving along a back country road) and that you are protected. No one likes to be surprised. I like to envision a protective bubble that opens up as I move across the landscape.
  • Approach wild habitats with a connection to your heart. If fears come up, then draw your attention back to your heart. It will open a doorway into some new insight about what the fear is about.
  • My experience in seeing wild animals is they are usually very aware of humans when we are in their backyards. If you see an animal and fear comes up. Trust that you are protected. Stay connected to the fear and your heart. Make a mental note of what you observe as the fear arises. Trust that all is well and this encounter is in support of your well being for all creatures. Journal the experience and ask for continued insight.
  • Express gratitude for their presence on the earth. Living in love and gratitude is more attuned to vibrational frequency of animals. Your ability to connect with them will be enhanced in this state.

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