Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey Teamwork

Bigfork, Montana- This just in. . .turkeys are actually intelligent. I know we might not want to consider this possibility as we are about to devour millions of them, but for several weeks now I have been watching wild turkeys take turns knocking apples for each other out of the apple tree in my back yard. The hen that flies up to fan her tail and thus knock the fruit down does not eat right away, and she may not eat at all if the horses run down and chase away the turkeys. Two hefty toms have been shot by hunters, but this flock of hens and their yearling chicks is doing quite well without them, sharing and eating, and feeding the deer as well.

Turkeys can fly straight up into the air, which they do every night to roost high in trees to sleep. I only wish I had been able to get better footage of them this day, and I'll keep on trying. But just know that the reasons Ben Franklin tried so hard for the turkey to be the national bird, rather than our eagle, are plenty: Turkeys are gleaners and do not eat meat. They do not have to kill in order to survive. They work together for the good of the flock. And they take care of each other. As you eat turkey for Thanksgiving, as I will, you should know the bird is the perfect symbol of living in harmony without inflicting harm on any other living thing, except maybe bugs.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Spontaneous Peace Painting

This fall I finished a visual "doodle" that started out as black and white, and then I colored it with oils, as happy as a kid with a coloring book. My husband took a look at it and said, "Don't be going religious on me." I said, "Don't worry."

I am, after all, a recovering Catholic, and a recovering Born-again Christian. An intense four year double major of religion and psychology (taken up in my early thirties) revealed the myths, misconceptions, falsehoods and rigidities of the major world religions. I surmised that to blindly accept a religious belief without looking to the origins and history of that belief is to relinquish your life energy without being fully informed. Do I believe in a higher power? Yes. Do I believe that a person must follow a specific creed or religious framework? No. We all have light within us.

To quote French philosopher and priest Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience."

This painting is the result of the artistic doodling of my mind's eye, and even I am surprised: A holy mother with a white streak in her hair, any age, sitting cross-legged. From. .. any continent, any culture, wearing pants. My ten year old granddaughter painted her mouth.

You know, we are all holy, we all have the spirit of life within us; we can use that well or abuse it. We can enlarge it or waste it. We can be inclusive or be judgemental and full of hatred. We can flash our positive energy in a situation, or we can raise havoc. Enough of the havoc. Imagine PEACE breaking out all over the world, all over your country, all over your state, all over your town, all over your home. Let's charge up the light from inside us and let that energy touch the situations and people in our lives. Illumination.

My favorite concept from Teilhard de Chardin (and talk about renewable energy, WE are it!) "Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and for the second time in the history of the world, man(kind) will have discovered fire." Let your self shine. Peace.

Monday, November 2, 2009

No saddle, No bit

I am sooooo proud of Granddaughter Nita, who has sweat her way in full gear through many summer riding lessons in 95 degree heat. She can now sit on a horse so well. Here she is, no bit, no saddle, on the amazing 22-year old reining grand champion, Chita, the new addition to our little horse herd.

There are three stages in asking a horse to do something: Ask, Tell, Command. (Presidents have employed this model, as have mothers and bosses.)

You usually have to Ask once with Chita, but since he's making decisions every minute, sometimes you have to Tell him. Nita and Chita are flowing right along together. It's so good to see!