BARE GRACE

My intention when I began this blog was to create a place to share reflections, essays, prose, poems and photos of the creatures that I have met or may yet encounter in the forest here in the western mountains of Maine or elsewhere.

As an cognitive ethologist and psychologist (Jungian therapist) when I observe animal behavior in the wild I am always asking myself what the animal might be thinking. I pay particular attention to the relationship that develops between an animal and myself over time. I also question the role of projection on my part when I am pulled into an animal’s field of influence without understanding why. Most important I follow gut feelings and any nudges when observing any animal. I am a woman with Native American roots – is that why I make the assumption that every creature has something to teach me? I think of the natural world as being a place of deep learning and wonder.

It is my experience that intention and attention on the part of the observer opens a magic door, and once over the threshold inter-species communication becomes possible. I would like to invite others to cross that threshold with me.

As a feminist, ritual artist, and a writer I am Her advocate, that is, Nature’s advocate. I believe that when I write about the animals and plants I am giving voice to their truths as well as my own.

I developed an intimate relationship with the black bear in the above photo for a number of years while I was engaged in an independent, trust based study of his kinship group (15 years). Little Bee interacted with me on a regular basis but always preferred to “hide” behind a screen of leaves and saplings while doing so. Whenever I was around him I felt touched by “Bare Grace”.

Please feel free to comment. I would love to communicate with anyone who wants to share experiences they have had in Nature or simply make observations about what I have written.

If you would like more information about me, please read the essay on how I became a Naturalist…

Unfortunately, I am dyslexic with numbers and directions and have a difficult time with the computer in general and with WordPress in particular so I ask the reader to forgive me for the errors I will surely continue to make.

Sara Wright

12/29/16

I am spending the winter in Abiquiu New Mexico and am currently using my blog as a journal of my experiences in this mysteriously beautiful place. I ask that the reader bear with me as I continue this process… some entries will, of course, be about my relationship with animals, but others will not.

As it turns out I am presently a “snowbird” having returned to Abiquiu for the winter and spring of 2017 and 2018…

Update: August 2020…. I have returned to Maine having spent four years on a circular journey the highlights of which are recorded here…New Mexico is a magical place, but the North Country continues to call me home.

In the past years I have used my blog as a kind of jumping off place for publication elsewhere – which is why many entries have errors that I haven’t bothered to correct. There is something about putting my writing on a blog that allows me to see it from a distance, and from that place I craft pieces for publication elsewhere… I  am still writing about animals and plants, and still enthralled by the powers of place – perhaps more so now than ever. Certainly more grateful. Without my primary relationship to the rest of Nature I would perhaps feel more isolated during this pandemic than I do.

With deep appreciation and gratitude especially to those who comment on what I write,

Sara

 

Red Bird

The sun is lower in the firmament and shadows deepen. An indigo blue sky bowl arcs over a drowsing earth. Swamp maples catch fire and golden beech leaves drift aimlessly in light winds as I reflect upon this precarious season of dying light. With each moment flowing into another I have lost track of all but changing seasons… burnt ashes remain.

Beloved dogs, one on either side, each hugging my body remind me that I am alive and breathing. When a cardinal lands in my field I frame questions, writing them into dry thin air… How many will I see today? Yesterday’s count was three. Will they stay? A flash of crimson, an orange beak, a ruby crest – all transport me – Awe strikes like the hawk does locking its talons on my heart. For a few moments I too hug the ground and fly with cardinals – free.

The Mark of the Bear

The Mark of the Bear

Leaving the sanctity of evergreen forest and still wrapped in winter wool he warily approaches me. I stand riveted — locked in a visual embrace. Hungering for details I scan his face with its brown marbled eyes, a wet nose and open mouth sniffing and tasting the evening air. I note his widow’s peak, the bulky body, curved claws and padded paws when he lies down at my feet. Recognition parts the Veil of Bears as I acknowledge him. One image of my Beloved is this bear.