When I first moved to this little town in the Rockies, I saw deer all the time. When I was driving to my house for the first time, they were right there in the middle of the road – four of them, looking right at me, tame as could be. Later, I would often see them across the street when I stood looking out my front door. Sometimes I saw them five yards from my front door. I saw them run by during a couple sacred gatherings. One day I even found antlers in my backyard – the first time ever in my life.
I know that Deer represents the energy of Gentleness. And at that time in my life, having just moved two thousand miles away and knowing only one person in my new hometown (and only by phone at that) Gentleness was exactly what I needed. I needed to be gentle with myself as I adjusted to a new home, a new environment, a new altitude, a new neighborhood. I needed to be gentle as I recovered from the move, the drive (including a blizzard,) the leaving of family and friends. Deer was right. Gentleness was exactly what I needed. My friend, Cindy, understood this as well. And when I would feel emotional or when my back would go out or when I would push myself to do more than I had the energy for, she would remind that I’d been through a big change and that it was okay to be gentle with myself.
Fast forward three months. I had moved to a different house. I was no longer seeing Deer. Instead I was seeing and hearing Hummingbirds. Every time I stepped out of the house it seemed I was hearing them. When I walked through the woods I was seeing them. When I moved to yet another house – yes, three houses in a little over three months! – I began seeing them all the time. At least one appears to live in the tree by the front door. And several frequently visit the flowers out the window where my desk sits. I usually see them several times a day. And whenever I walk outside, I hear them buzz by, making their fun little trilling noises.
Hummingbird is about Joy. It’s about Love. It’s about Beauty. This is appropriate for me right now because I have finally settled in. I have been blessed with a beautiful, exquisitely furnished home; a wonderful, compatible, cheerful, spiritual roommate; unbelievable natural beauty; and a unique and delightful town. I feel the Joy of all these blessings and I am able to radiate it. Hummingbird and I are really happy!
Animals are a blessing. They have much to teach us. If we watch them, we can learn from them. Some animals exemplify power, some grace, some adaptability, some playfulness. Some are loners, some are communal, some mate for life, some are devoted to their offspring. Some animals are carnivores, some are herbivores, some are nocturnal, some are diurnal, some hibernate. Some are fierce, some are protective, some are gentle.
When an animal keeps showing up in our lives or our dreams, it’s time to look for the hidden message. Is there something we should be doing differently? Do we need to be stronger? Do we need to eat more plants? Do we need to pay more attention to our community? Do we need to be more gentle to ourselves and to others? Do we need to play more? Do we need to rest more?
We are blessed to share this Earth with so many different kinds of animals. Let’s respect them, honor them, and learn from them. As the native people say, they are our relatives.