Bonding To Place

My recent move from Vancouver Island to Quebec has given me some interesting food for thought. As someone who is bonded to the giant trees, grey ocean mists, and wildness of the West Coast, coming home to the gentle slopes, hardwood forests, and fields of the Eastern Townships of Quebec was disorienting.  I felt lonely and missed my soul community of humans and other-than human relations. I found myself wondering deeply about my role in this new community and how to stay true to my Vision. Change is like that though; it always involves a dismantling of who we know ourselves to be. Transformation results when, through a process of wholeing, we put back together the pieces and re-emerge, the same but different.

Time in solitude with Nature has always helped me to do this. So, three weeks after arriving, I finally felt ready to emerge from my cocoon of grief and start the process of bonding to this place. It turns out that right in my back yard there is a deer trail that leads through a forest to a river. It is beautiful and the diversity of life within is plentiful. Close to the entrance of the forest there is a beautiful White Pine. I go there to sit quietly and open my awareness. This morning, I went with my dog Sitka. As we were entering the forest, I expanded my vision and saw movement not too far off in the distance. We never got to my sit spot. Instead, I slowly sat down and watched. It turns out that what I was seeing was a socially intact herd of white tailed deer. Sitka sat down too, and mirrored my stillness (she really is an amazing friend). They were so close we could smell them. Then, from behind a tree, not 20 meters away, emerged the alpha doe. She was aware of our presence but our stillness had her curious. She gracefully and tentatively approached, swaying her long neck. When she got close enough that my state of relaxation shifted to alert focus; a reflection of hers, she stomped her feet twice, then twice more again. I decided to rise and leave the herd in peace. As Sitka and I moved, she flicked her beautiful white tail, snorted her alarm to her herd, and bounded off about 75 meters. As I left the threshold of the forest, I looked back and could see that she had stopped. With no danger of pursuit, I hope they settled down quickly enough. I returned home laughing out loud to myself, excited, curious, and grinning ear to ear; alive and a little more whole.

The river near my sit spot