(First posted in January, I just reread this story in light of the vote by a select group of hunters/commissioners yesterday to hunt the sandhill cranes that winter over in Southeast TN. I realized this story addresses in my opinion the greater problem in our society underlying violence of most if not all kinds. So many have outsourced their soul and don't even know what it's like to feel their soul stirred. I hope you'll take a moment to read and share. Sincerely, Dawn Kirk )
"When we hear his call, we hear no mere bird.
We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution."
- Aldo Leopold on the Sandhill Crane
It has only been in recent years that I've discovered the capacity of my soul to be stirred. This stirring is far from the hell-based soul shaking I felt in church as a child when the preacher went on about hell's fire and brimstone and I awaited the end of the world.
Lately I've felt my soul stirred as the sandhill cranes' southward migration has resulted in many flying over my home in the country. The first time we heard this migration was Winter Solstice December 21st. It was around 9:00 at night. We had just finished drumming inside due to the cold, when I heard this odd noise. I looked at Jerry and asked, "Is that your stomach?"
Smiling he replied, "It's the cranes."
We only heard them briefly that night but their timing was perfect. Since then we've heard them numerous times and have often seen them. Ted Andrews in "Animal Speaks" says sandhill cranes are sacred guardians. Anyone who takes time to really listen to them would likely agree.
In the past month my soul has been stirred in relation to the cranes in other ways thanks to the arts and humankind. In December at Nashville's Radnor Lake the Pacesetter artists of Cookeville and Sparta had their best sale day in their twelve year history as they showed and sold their paintings and prints of the cranes following a talk presented by Melinda Welton, co-chair of the upcoming TN Sandhill Crane Festival Jan. 19/20.
Whether it's the symphony, the cranes and art or the upcoming festival, these events stir my soul and are joy makers for me. They awaken an inner aliveness that's far from the adrenaline that propelled me through much of my earlier life.
Soul stirring happens in other ways too, ways that aren't as comfortable as occurred recently. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources committee will take up the idea of hunting the sandhill cranes again this summer. The proposal was tabled in 2011 for two years. If things unfold as expected, public comments will be taken around August. The fact that Kentucky legalized hunting the cranes recently increases the likelihood the committee will do what is necessary to make it legal here.
Normally things like this are heartbreakers to me. This week though I felt something kin to anger as I thought, 'Do these men know what it is like to feel their soul really stirred? Have they sold out or are they souled out from just going through the motions of politics and their daily lives?'
These birds are just beginning to recover from near extinction in the early Nineties due to hunting and development resulting in fewer waterways where they congregate. More importantly sandhill crane couples have only one chic. That chic stays with the parent learning from them and modeling them for the first nine months of their life. These families migrate together. Would hunters really want to hunt them if they took the time to hear and really think about these dynamics of crane family life?
Then I recall Aldo Leopold, whose birthday is today, and what he said about the crane's call being the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution.
Maybe the cranes are part of the evolution of something of great magnitude here on Planet Earth.
We arrive on Earth in response to our soul's initial call. And even though we may in ways be vastly different we are here to stir the Soul, the collective Soul. In this collaborative effort lies the evolution of awareness and the heart.
This political committee and a handful of hunters are part of the orchestration of soul at least for me for they are part of my waking up, my learning to ask questions and most importantly to pay attention to the evolution of my awareness and heart, to speak out and stand up for the things to which I am called.
Just as hearing bird song I suspect inspired many to make the first instruments, hearing the sandhill crane's call prompts me to pay attention to and use my personal instrument, my heart, mind and voice to stretch, feel, think and speak.
What if the heart has been guarded as sacred over time, awaiting this time when we are to awaken on every level of our heart, soul and mind?
How do you experience your soul being stirred?
How do you experience the call to live your greatest life?
Imagine the Shift to feeling your soul stirred and finding your life's greater call.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 11 January 2013
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