A hawk was my first teacher of Oneness. A bird of prey that hunts other birds, this slender brown hawk offered me the most profound awareness of oneness.
Nature is the vastness that exhilarates and frightens us. We sense that there is so much more than meets the eye – a mystery so fathomless we hide from it, fearing for the safety of body and soul. We dominate and control that which we do not understand. We strip Nature of her resources, use her up even as she gives and gives, dominate her by “right,” take without thought or thanks, lost in the delusion that we are different, separate from her, better than her. It is time we wake to the Dream! We are part of Nature. Her breath is our breath; her pain is our pain. Our Spirits flow together down hidden paths, gossamer strands of energy link us one to another. The deer and the bear are my brothers. Water is my life’s blood. I am the hawk, and the hawk is me. All That Is reflects my soul back to me in a myriad of ways.
The world is always speaking to you if you choose to listen deeply. The Universe is offering us signs and messages. It is those special moments, when we are captured by the wash of colour in the sky, by the chatter of the birds in our backyard, or by a feather floating to the ground at our feet. It is when an animal shows up in your life in an unexpected way. Perhaps a Pine Marten crosses your path, or you see an image of the same animal multiple times over a short period, or you may see an animal behaving in an unusual way. It is these moments that carry the magic and the message, information that can guide us on our road and open new paths of awareness.
There is a Wild Self within us; it is that part of us that longs to live close to Nature – to be one with the land, to walk barefoot on the grass, to feel the suns' warmth on our skin. This is our birthright. It is not something to be learned or acquired. It is our heritage – an instinctive and intuitive wisdom that lives within us. Our ancestors knew this. They were taught the ways of the animals, the rhythm of the Seasons, the gifts of the plants and trees, and their place in the Web of Life.
Severn is an activist and writer who has been speaking out about social justice and environmental issues since she was small. At age 9, she started the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO) with a group of friends committed to learning and teaching others about environmental issues.
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Beyond the offering of their beauty, aspen groves provide an invitation to better understand ourselves. Found where there is ample sunlight and in cooler, higher climates in North America, aspen trees are deciduous (drops its leaves in winter) with smooth, white bark marked by black scars where their lower branches have self-pruned through the natural growth of the tree.