Thursday, August 18, 2011

An ambassador for gentleness, forgiveness and spiritual awareness

This post was inspired by a post and follow-up comment by Tanja Hoagland, the Minimalist Packrat.
Tanja's moving post is a reminder to pause and breathe. At the end of her post, she describes a shark-sighting during her morning walk, and shares some shark symbolism from Avia Venefica's website. As if spotting a shark before breakfast wasn't striking enough, the shark symbolism is intriguing. 
Tanja's post and the shark symbolism got me thinking about how much I love natural surprises. Like a woodpecker feeding her young. Crickets in the city. Especially, deer.
Where I live, we don't see sharks, but we are lucky to see deer from time to time.
No matter how rushed I feel or how busy my thoughts, whenever I spot a deer I slow down spontaneously.
If I'm driving, I slow or stop my car of course.
More importantly, my body slows. My breath gets deeper, my mind stops racing, and my heart follows suit.
One deer-sighting was particularly unforgettable. Shortly after my mother's death, I was driving to work one morning when I was stopped by the sight of a deer at the edge of the road. She wasn't just any deer. She was massive and majestic. While it didn't seem cool enough to see one's breath, the deer's exhalations froze in expansive clouds, drifting over the road. I was filled with the certain belief that I was being visited by my mother's soul. I felt comforted and loved. 
Since that day I've seen many deer, and mostly I am moved by their beauty and grateful for their presence. Always, I am inspired to go a little slower, breathe a little deeper, and appreciate the important things in life.
So after reading Tanja Hoagland's post this morning I took her lead and looked up some symbolism at Avia Venefica's website
"When we encounter the deer in the wild," Avia writes, "our breath catches - we are transfixed by their graceful features and delicate movements." Sure enough. 
"The Celts also believed that deer were associated with the fairie realm," she writes, "and would lead troops of fairies - hundreds of them trailing behind them as the stag cut a path through the forest." Gives new meaning to the term 'stag party'!
On her blog, Avia adds that a female deer, "is an ambassador for gentleness, forgiveness and spiritual awareness." Indeed.

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