Predator & Prey
Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
I received an email from a client who lives in Scotland. She and her husband and beloved canine family member Leela were on vacation in the countryside at their favorite cottage.
Here's what she wrote:
"I'm writing from our holiday cottage in the hills where we are surrounded by beauty.
There are rabbits in the garden which are adorable as they hop around nibbling grass or just sitting and sunning themselves. We're careful to see the garden is clear of them before we let Leela out.
We were so surprised to see a stoat (short-tailed weasel) prancing and leaping around yesterday and are very concerned for the rabbits now. I wondered if there was anything you've written on predators and prey you might have ready on hand you could send me, Joanna? I feel love for both the stoat who has to kill to survive and for the gentle rabbits - and it's hard to hold both."
I'm not sure if I have written about the prey/predator relationship before. It is such a difficult place to navigate for those of us who are sensitive to and love animals- and who feel a deep appreciation for the magnificent predators and a strong natural protectiveness towards the gentle prey animals.
How can we sit in acceptance of this aspect of life, recognizing that Nature includes predator/prey relationships? How do we honor what predators need to do to survive
and support and hold prey animals in their wanting to live their lives in peace?
This is deeply challenging for so many of us. Acceptance of and being with "both."
Allowing for the larger perspective that sees Nature as it is, on its own terms, all the
while navigating the thoughts and feelings we may have that protest against that.
What helps me balance both in myself is taking a deep bow to life: acknowledging and
accepting as best as possible with every fiber of my being that this is the way Nature is.
And, at the same time, envisioning sanctuary around my home so that the prey
animals can be safe here. Keeping an open communication with prey animals and
with predators about the sanctity of this sanctuary space and asking predators for
an honoring of it. When any predators come too close, pointing them in the direction
of the nearby Appalacian Trail... where all they need to survive is abundant
I remember many years ago being told about this Native American perspective on
the predator/prey relationship. It has been said that when predator and prey meet,
that at the moment of death, their souls merge and they experience a full and complete appreciation of the other. And that often the appreciation is so great between the two
that these souls make decisions in that instant to reincarnate as the other species in
their next lifetime.
May it be so.
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna