The rewild your life challenge got off to a good start but illness kept me indoors through the middle of the week. My ‘half hour in nature’ involved lying in a hammock staring at the tree in our front yard, to be fair the tree in question is magnificent and is home to a pair of red wattlebirds. The pair are quite territorial and prevent any other birds from coming by to enjoy the tree (they’ve even been known to attack the local cats). I felt a little grumpy about that but it inspired me to reflect on the importance of accepting what is given.
Part of the power of non-human nature is in the fact that we are not in control of it. When we are present to the non-human we have to acknowledge the limits of human power and agency. This can be overwhelming for some I suppose but mostly I feel relieved. I am so heartened to experience something that is greater than me. Also the fact that I am not in control makes the sight of birds or animals a precious gift.
This morning I opened my curtains to find myself face to face with a raven. The Australian variety have white eyes which makes for a striking gaze. It was sitting on the fence between our house and our neighbours, less than a metre from the window. I know a few people who find ravens unsettling but I love them, they remind me of underworld goddesses. It always feels powerful when they turn their attention toward me.
Ravens are a totem of the indigenous Wurundjeri people of this area. The Wurundjeri call them ‘Waa’ (if you’ve ever heard them you’ll know why) and consider them a trickster spirit.