Friday, July 01, 2005

Animal Spirits

Some interesting encounters with the animal spirits today...

On the way to Wellpinit, just beyond Coyote Spring, I saw the most magnificent bear I ever had the chance to meet in real life (fortunately, I was in the car and the bear was in the field). It was much larger than other bears I've seen on the reservation, and much lighter. It had beautiful, light brown fur and was large enough, I thought perhaps it was a grizzly, but it lacked the characteristic grizzly hump on its back.

I stopped the car and greeted the animal in our Indian language. It stood in the field with our eyes connected until another car approached and scared it away. Wouldn't you know it? The one day I forget to bring my camera and I see this amazing animal, the bear!

"Lem-lemt-sh (thank you)," I called out as the bear returned to the forest.

* * * * *

After I arrived at the sweat, I sat in one of the chairs just outside the lodge and heard an odd scratching noise beside me. I looked down and saw a mouse trapped in a plastic waste basket. The poor thing tried to escape, but the edge was apparently too high. I laughed and showed the mouse to my uncle; then released it outside into the bushes. I expected the mouse to run away in terror, but as I tipped the container to set it free, it looked back at me and walked calmly away.

* * * * *

On the drive home, a racoon stopped at the edge of the highway and watched me drive by.

They say these kinds of things are sometimes messages from the animal spirits. So far no specific message is clear, but I'm thankful for being visiting by these animals today.

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