Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
Last week, I received a text from a friend of mine who is on staff at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, NY. Multiple staff members led by an experienced wildlife rehabilitator rescued a barred owl who had been hanging out on the property and was not acting normally- he had signs of head trauma. He seated himself in a tree right by the visitors' center. They named him Bernie and he is now under the care of an expert from Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center.
What is extraordinary about this event is not so much that Bernie was rescued. What is truly moving and beyond extraordinary is that Bernie knew to bring himself to the sanctuary to get help- knew that this is a place where animals receive help. He knew to make himself, his injury, and his need for help visible so that the staff could assist him.
Instead of hiding deep in the woods as many injured animals would do, he made a decision-
a clear decision- to come to a place whose mission is rescue and healing for animals and he orchestrated his own rescue.
Bernie knew- and Bernie decided. That is what is simply extraordinary here.
And Bernie isn't the only one, the only animal, to have made an amazing decision like this. How many stories have you read in the news or seen on TV magazine shows in which an animal- wild, feral, or domesticated- makes a clear and well thought out decision to seek out human help for him/herself due to an accident, injury, illness-or to get help for another.
What Bernie and other animals continually demonstrate to us and remind us of is the great intelligence and deep wisdom that animals possess and the unexpected capacities they have that break through our often limited perception of who we think they are.
Animals know so much more than what we give them credit for knowing. Knowing in the most ordinary sense as well as the deeper kind of knowing that transcends our assumptions about the nature of their species.
Perhaps the next time we see an animal- our own beloved or a wild one- we can look at him/her as a Bernie, one who thinks and decides and knows in ways beyond what we think we know about them.
What a gift this will be- to the animals and to ourselves- to meet each one as a Bernie and allow our experience of each other to open in new ways.
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna