Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Balance of Nature

This morning I awoke with a large black cloud hovering over my head, the result of what appears to be a one-sided pissing contest with me as the target (albeit rather obtusely), initiated by someone who doesn't like the way I write - or wrote nearly two years ago - about the first piggy who stole my heart. Despite emails and phone calls from supportive friends and acquaintances equally shocked by the latest vicious, unwarranted attack, I felt a tension in my body and a heaviness in my heart that a beautiful sunny morning could not eradicate.

I fed the piggies and alpaca, rounded up the dogs, and headed out to the pasture for our morning meditations on the hill.

And then it happened. A pileated woodpecker, a rare sight around here, majestic in his bright red head and chest and long neck and wingspan, swooped low over the pasture trumpeting his loud, clear, very distinct laugh. A blue heron rose gracefully from the pond on the neighbour’s property, circled once, and then slowly winged her way across the fields. Gossamer webs brushed my arms as I wandered through the now-golden grasses, and drops of dew washed my face as I drank in the scent of the wild mint.

As the dogs and I rested at the top of the rise of pasture, I realized Charley was not with us. This is not unusual as my independent girl often likes to explore the pasture on her own instead of staying with the pack. I called her, as I always do, yet could not see her. Suddenly Sadie sat bolt upright, looked down the hill, and with ears up and tail wagging joyously started prancing back down the path. And coming from the opposite direction, Charley, ears up , tail wagging, prancing towards her, like the slow-motion lovers in the old soap commercial. My canine houseguest, TJ, who has been clinging to me like lint to Velcro, suddenly sat up straight on his little bum, front paws waggling high in the air like a gopher who hears an alarm whistle, watching his new friends on the hill below. And next thing I know, I am laughing out loud with the sheer joy of it all – happy and funny dogs, amazing scenery, wonderful glimpses of nature at its finest.

None of the criticism and anger that has been directed towards me by one embittered person mattered a whit. This is MY world, and I perceive it through MY eyes and with MY heart, and I write about it in MY words -- and no one can ever, ever, ever take that from me.

Nature has a way of replenishing that which is empty, of revealing its secrets when one most needs to see them, of sharing its wealth in times of sorrow as well as times of joy. Nature, of which we are all a part, keeps itself in balance. It is homeostatic; it seeks equilibrium. And in doing so, it provides balance to us all. The joy and beauty is all around us; we just have to open ourselves up to it.

As the dogs and I returned from the pasture I noticed Martin, the alpaca, tossing his head as an annoying fly hovered around his eyes. And I realized that the individual who caused me grief last night is nothing more than an annoying fly buzzing around the eyelashes of my life.

It is a beautiful day in a beautiful world, and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest.


Anonymous said...

Mother nature is a great healer!!!!! ;o))

I remember one cold winter night and and feeling down in the dumps. I was heading towards Princess Erma's house with her dinner. I lifted the burlap flap expecting her vintage self to be in a deep sleep. But she was standing right there and she surprised me so much i had to laugh. Remembering this angry little pig who came at me on day one was now standing waiting for her dinner like such a lady. Maybe i did rescue her a long time ago but that night she rescued me right back.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear nature and your beloved pets replenished you today!


Anonymous said...

When we put our creativity "out there" in the world, as writers, or painters, or in other artistic pursuits, there will always be those who are, for want of a better word, "unappreciative" of our work. I know from my own experience as an artist that while 99 out of 100 of the comments I receive are positive, that 1 negative comment is like an arrow through my heart. It will haunt me basically forever, and as much as I can rationalize that art is a very personal, subjective thing, and that you will never please everyone, those callous, negative comments (the ones that are not in any way constructive, only hurtful) cut me to the bone every time! However, I feel it's important that we express ourselves, and we remain true to our feelings, and that sharing those feelings is what makes us succeed in our chosen art form. While it is indeed true that these mean-spirited critics are no more than flies buzzing about our heads, I can't help but remember the saying that "if you think you're to small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with one mosquito". While I'm certain that saying that wasn't intended as an allegory for the sleepless nights we spend fretting over the comments of some insensitive critic, for me it certainly rings true! Luckily, those of us whose creativity is focussed on the animal world can find much joy and consolation in our subjects. And they never judge or criticize us!

Keep on writing Jean, and don't change a thing. There are so many of us who cherish your words that we vastly outweigh any who feel otherwise.


Dawnie said...

Hello Jean...This is my very first time leaving you a comment. I have been reading and catching up on your blog. I have enjoyed it so much! I've even read back as far as I can, lol.

Congrats to you for not letting one unhappy individual ruin what you love doing. Your blog brings me so much joy. I read about your critters and guests and it makes my heart smile. I am partially disabled now. I tend to spend a bit more time here at home on my mountain in western Massachusetts. I have always had a fondness for reading. In this modern age of computers (big grin) blogging has become such a popular thing. There are several I like but yours is my favorite!

It's true we can't always meet everyone's expectations. And it's especially hard if they don't share the same view we do sometimes. Maybe they expect too much? You have a very kind and caring heart. I say this because of how well you treat all your critters. Without you where would they be? And anyone who devotes themselves to doing something so selfless is alright with this reader, lol. I'm glad you're going to continue writing this blog.

I apologize if I have rambled on. I just felt the need to leave you a positive comment. Warm regards... Dawnie

Robyn said...

Jean, I haven't been reading your blog for long, but I keep coming back BECAUSE you write from your heart. I love that. Ignore the stupid fly.

Jean said...

Thanks, everyone. I love writing, and I love sharing my stories of the animals with my readers - I hope it has both entertainment AND educational value.

Dawnie, welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind words. I enjoy hearing from readers all over the globe - contemporary communications technology, while I sometimes curse it, really does make us a global village.