Growing up I remember spending a lot of time with my weeping willow tree. I used to sit under it, swing on its branches and press the leaves between the pages of books. No one, including me, understood my relationship with this tree. As a child I was extremely shy and backward around people, but my tree always seemed to understand me. I felt safe in the shade of its long weepy branches. I guess I somehow felt connected to this tree because I often felt weepy myself.
As I grew up I soon forgot my connection with nature as I was taught that man had dominion over the plants and animals and that humans were the superior creation. All of the plants and animals were created for my use and pleasure, I was taught. This negated much of my respect for life with whom I share this planet. This idea is at the core of much of the disrespect for life that we witness on the planet today. In recent years I have been reacquainted with the idea that all of life is sacred and that everything on the earth has a spirit of its own. We are all connected and there is much we can learn by connecting with the spirits of the plants, animals, and even the rocks with whom we share our planet.
I do remember that,many years ago, with the Bible verse in hand that said that we had dominion over all the living creatures on the earth that I used to talk to the ants, spiders and even the mice that occasionally attempted to share my home with me without my permission. I would give them the choice of vacating my home or risking death by means of traps or pesticides. Sometimes I would be surprised when I would find that talking to them worked!
In more recent years I have developed a more healthy respect for the life with whom we share the planet. A couple of years ago when our yard was inhabited by three nests of bees, I resorted to contacting the spirit of the bee and asking it to please make its home in someone else's yard, or at least allow me to sit outside without fear of attack. The following year I noticed that the bees would still come to visit my flowers, for which I was grateful, but the swarms and the nests seemed to have moved. I also beseeched my neighbors the squirrels to please not eat my tulips and I have noticed this year that all my tulips have remained intact.
At this point in my journey through this life, I am finding that even though I may consider my home to be my property, along with my husband, the animal kingdom does not understand ownership. We may ask them politely to respect our space, but it is really up to them if they decide to cooperate or not. Hopefully their spirits will recognize that I mean them no harm and they will reciprocate.