Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Ancient Bond Between Animals and Humans...

In a world changing faster by the minute there is one thing that has not changed, and that is the sweet sound of a bird singing, or an elk bugling, or a dog barking in wild exuberance as it races off on a journey of delightful exploration. While humans have always looked to the natural world for peace and serenity, the other beings that share our planet in such a myriad, magical variety, have a deeper message for us that we really need to hear if we are to heal ourselves and our world.

We look at a butterfly, or a bluebird, and we think, oh, how lovely. But all we see most of the time is the outer shape, the outer form. We don't touch the essence behind the form. We say, 'Oh, there's a pretty butterfly,' and we move on to the next thing. Yet if we were to pause and open our heart and really feel the being that is parading before us in the cool disguise we call a butterfly, or a robin, or redwood, or a flower, it would change our life.
We would realize in an instant, and in the very marrow of our soul, that all life is one. We would know, without need for any further enlightenment from other wise humans, that we share a bond with animals and with nature that is irreversible and that can bring us serenity and comfort in difficult times such as face us now.

William Blake spoke of seeing the world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wild flower. Even in these dark times, there is some real good news crying out to be heard by the ears of all of us. All we have to do is open those ears, the "inner ear" so to speak of the soul, and we will hear the song the universe is singing.

The oneness, and abiding harmony that bind the atoms of creation--as far as the eye can see, and further into the infinity of space--is not really hidden. It's just that for the most part we are so busy and preoccupied with day to day affairs that we do not notice. We all have that inner ear--that inner eye--whereby we too may experience immediately and intimately a moment of insight into the mystery and beauty that so arrested the poet, William Blake.

There was nothing special about Blake, or any other wise or holy person that ever lived, that is not also true of us. We all are special. We all come from the same heavenly realms. We all have the same birthright. We all have the same equipment. We are part of a mysterious and wonderful creation, and animals, even the simplest, most overlooked creature, can remind us of that. They are our kin--and have been our kin for a long, long time. Even more importantly, we have something important to offer to the creatures of this world.

If we think we are vulnerable, how about them? Low down on the totem pole, for sure. Good day, brother fish. Good day, sister antelope. Good day, all you wild creatures that share this earthly home with me. Much love to you, and may the bond between us continue forever.

By Christopher Foster

Born in 1932 in London, England, Christopher Foster started work as a reporter on a South London weekly newspaper at age 17, following in the steps of his father, a longtime British journalist. At age 18 he left home to see the world. He lived for two years in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and worked as a laborer and reporter in New Zealand before returning home to the UK. After a two year spell as a reporter with the London Daily Express, Foster emigrated to Canada in 1955. A longtime spiritual search led him to a spiritual community in 100 Mile House, British Columbia, known as The Emissaries, where he lived for over 30 years.

During this time he was editor of the local weekly newspaper and later initiated a worldwide newsletter named Integrity which took him and his first wife, Joy, on travels all over the world.In 1984 Foster wrote his first book, a novel entitled Bearers of the Sun. He followed this with a biography, two books of poems, and a second novel, Winds Across the Sky.

His latest book, The Raven Who Spoke With God, is a story of a young raven who overcomes grief and fear as he pursues his dream to be a friend and ally to humankind. "Buoyant as the air through which the birds soar, the story lifts the heart and carries it, dancing lightly, all the way through to the end," said NAPRA ReView. "This is a book you will read and then instantly think of ten friends to whom it must be lent." Bob Spear, at Heartland Reviews, has recommended The Raven, saying, "It reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull in the Rockies."

Posted by Michelle Buckalew, Animal World USA editor