ashland.news
May 26, 2024

Inner Peace: Finding peace on Bear Creek

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay
May 9, 2024

Watching and listening to the animals that live among us can remind us to live placidly

By Jessica Bryan

Blue she was, but not really blue, more like soft grey. A blue heron fading into the rocks and fallen trees along the creek’s edge. Her wings were open, and in this pose she appeared heart-shaped, except for her long, slender neck and head.

Jessica Bryan

At first, I didn’t understand her openness. She seemed so vulnerable with her chest prominently exposed. But then I realized she was wet, and she was using the late afternoon sun to dry herself. Gazing upward, she looked as though she was praying.

We were transfixed behind our window. We felt as though we were staring into the face of God, infinity, the vast silence of stars in the night sky. 

Then she closed herself. Raising first one foot and then the other, she began moving through the water between and over the rocks, gliding ever so slowly and gracefully. There was no rush, no intensity, just a delicate balancing. 

Then she seemed to have made a decision, and rising up from the creek, she flapped her enormous wings and flew, looking like some ancient, mythical creature. We stood silently and watched as she disappeared up the river, flying low and sheltered by trees. 

The memory of the majestic bird as she flew, her wings glistening with just a slight sheen of water, has stayed with me as a continual reminder to live peacefully in the present with relaxed purpose.

Every manner of animal life finds its way to Bear Creek, and they have done so for centuries, long before cars and houses and the trappings of modern human civilization. Last summer we watched a large brown mother bear across the creek, sleeping in the sun with her two cubs. And, of course, twice a year, migrating geese pass overhead “talking” to one another with loud squawking as they fly north or south. Then there are the ever-present ducks that float downstream from Lithia Park, always in pairs, never straying more than a few feet from each other.

There are handsome, healthy deer that come to eat our neighbor’s tomato flowers, and songbirds that sing every morning and evening. The hawks birth their babies in the tall trees next to the water, and the squirrels run all over the place. We buy large bags of whole walnuts every fall to throw across the creek for them. They are so well-trained that they show up at feeding time and wait for a walnut to come flying through the air in their direction.

One day last fall we observed five river otters; some were sitting on a half-rotten log that had fallen into the water, and some were swimming around the log. They were beautiful creatures, sleek and healthy and with chocolate brown, glistening fur. Much to our amazement, they had a large salmon, and we watched as they shared it. As one otter tore off a piece of flesh from the fish, the others waited patiently for their turn. One by one, they each had a share of the fish.

As humans, can we learn to share in the same way? Can we learn to trust each other and the world around us, knowing there will always be enough to sustain us all? One of my favorite traditional songs begins with the line: “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” If we strive for harmony in our own lives and with each other, I believe the goal of peace can be attained.

Jessica Bryan is an author and editor of metaphysical and spiritual books. She is also a spiritual medium and does energy healing and clairvoyant readings. Jessica lives in Ashland with Tom Clunie, D.C. Contact Jessica: editor@mind.net.

Websites: oregoneditor.com and theflowofgrace.net

Want to contribute? Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (rcarey009@gmail.com).

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