Gratitude for Predators

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We begin with gratitude for wolves, for their wild beauty, for the work they do to keep balance in wild environments, for all they have taught us and continue to teach us about loyalty, kinship, cooperation and courage.

We  acknowledge a long sad history of human hostility toward wolves, especially in European cultures, to the point of our bringing the wolves to near extinction. We  send our loving intentions to heal presumed conflicts between wolves and humans, particularly with respect to our “livestock.” Further, we  affirm our intentions for the flourishing of wolf families and the preservation of their ecosystems.

On the full moon, we can release (perhaps with a howl) our ancient and useless human fears and biases in relation to wolves and other predators. We  offer gratitude for all that is being done toward establishing methods of peaceful coexistence between people and predators, and send out our strong intentions for these methods to succeed and prevail. And we  offer love and appreciation for the wisdom and beauty of the wolf.

Personal reflection on predators:

 When a small group of us had gathered on Lambert’s Cove Beach on Martha’s Vineyard to hold a water blessing, a woman approached us in distress. She had just seen a drowned coyote washed up on the beach. This was of course a disturbing and unprecedented beach find, but what seemed to upset her more than the dead coyote was the possibility that more four-legged swimmers might follow, and with more success. The prospect loomed of a coyote population on Martha’s Vineyard, a place hitherto free of any predatory mammal larger than skunk or raccoon.

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An occurrence like this during a time of ceremony really gets my attention. A short time later,  I read a headline in the Boston Globe (April13): “Mountain Lions in the Garden...experts say big predators are on their way—and New England may not be ready.”  I’ve begun to think more deeply about the relations between humans and the large predators. I want to understand our mutual history—much of which has involved our  efforts to exterminate them.  As I  examine my own feelings, I find  contradictions: cheering for more diversity of wildlife on Martha’s Vineyard, in New England,  and also fearing for the life of my beloved, wander-prone cat. I have good friends who are farmers with sheep to consider. Still, I believe that peaceful coexistence is possible and necessary  between humans and all  the wild natural world, and I long for a time when false separations are overcome and we remember our kinship with all life.

On a regular basis I receive alerts from wild life organizations on the plight of wolves and on the smart, courageous, and generous  efforts being made to save them. I read more about wolves—their actual lives and their cultural symbolism.

I read that in some tribal traditions wolf has been known as the Pathfinder. I would like  to acknowledge this and  to offer gratitude to wolf as a Teacher: of the importance of family and cooperation,  and of courage to live and find a way forward in an unknown future.