During a recent group meditative exercise I had an unexpected visitor. An elephant. I have included the picture to the left in this post because it helps explain the experience.
As I began to go deeper into the exercise, my inner vision flowed from my upper left in a diagonal motion toward my bottom right field of "sight". Gentle colors came in ripples, all muted and slow and eventually a sort of wrinkling appeared. And then the slow blinking of an elephant's eye, pretty similar to the picture here, only that the elephant was facing me more "head on" and I could actually envision the upper part of the trunk as well.
The elephant blinked silently, slowly, over and over and I had the feeling that it was kind and old. Then the skin and the wrinkles and the eye slowly transformed into a partial face (same view) of a Crone and she smiled kindly. Then back to the elephant and back again.
Ever since the exercise I have been seeing elephants. Damn near everywhere. They will pop up in advertisements, as stuffed animals I pass in baby buggies on the trail. Some crazy lady handed me a flyer for a "white elephant sale" while we were in New Orleans recently. I opened a catalog yesterday that came in the mail to a random page and there hung an elephant pendant. We went to Florida to visit my mom and out of the blue she suggested we go to the Manatee rescue park where I learned that the closest animal link to the manatee is...the elephant.
So, the elephant wants to get to know me and me to know it I would say. I have learned that elephants are symbols of power and strength and that they can represent the three fold feminine aspect of ourselves. I have learned that elephants can deliver the message of our ability to deal with obstacles and that they can represent sovereignty, stability, and stead-fastness. Elephants can attest to gentleness and telepathic skill. They remind us to never forget.
I'm excited to speak with this animal further and to explore what it has to say and the connection to the Crone who visited me with it.
As Samhain approached this year several things changed in my life.
These things made me question my place with the creatures most important to me and left me uneasy. I may discuss them specifically at some point but this post is about making lemonade, not making squishy faces due to being handed lemons.
Through a chain of events that I can only say were magical, I ended up in a conversation with a dear friend of mine who told me she had been volunteering at the local animal shelter. I used to foster for the same shelter years ago. I work with them in my professional life on some of the events they coordinate in our facilities. And I always mean to go out to the shelter.... But, I never seem to get there. I contribute to the cause, I have a membership and each year give a monetary gift but my love of caring for animals seems to get lost in the shuffle of life.
So when my girlfriend said she was volunteering I made a commitment to her to be there....on the most sacred day of my year.
To me it was a little like volunteering at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. I just wanted to put myself aside and look into the eyes of animals that would never (or never again) know fear or abuse or neglect. And wow did I get some puppy and kitten kisses that day! LOL.
It made my day happy. I haven't been so happy scraping litter boxes since I worked at a vet's clinic LOL. It made me remember how unabashed animals are. About everything! Puppies and kittens are THE experts in the phrase "just be"....
The crazy old cat lady that was supervising us gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek when we left and I came away feeling quite blessed. It surprised me. I mean, I expected to do good work and I obviously LOVE animals but as I figured it would be (and as most multiple animals spaces are) it was chaotic and a bit too cluttered for my own minimalist tastes LOL. So, I have to fight the urge to "fix" stuff. I'm a "fixer" in my professional life AND in life in general. Not a caregiver. A fixer. A fixer is more precise. Less touchy-feely. More clinical. As a side note/example I had worked at the vet clinic for a week before I organized all the blankets, asked if I could get new storage bins for the dog food (because the ones they had were cracked and then duct taped) and indicated to my locker mate that, er, your shit should not flow into my side of this cramped space....
My point being that I had to let go and just "do" the tasks I was there to do. And it was actually in the kitten room that I lost my heart. I dropped it somewhere near the little grey and white guy with the big green eyes. The purring, the gentle swatting, the fuzzy little bundles of nothing but pure bliss....
Everything is not perfect. Life does not go according to plan. But, puppies and kittens will always warm the heart of a good witch.