Sunday, August 03, 2008

Grabbing the Hand of a Bear


It happened again. Another bunny fell down our window well. That means in the past two months, three babies have fallen about 5 feet down to an enclosed area, where they could have died if we hadn't found them. In order to live, they had to accept help from a human. When I shared this story on the phone with a couple of friends, I equated the experience of the bunnies to that of a human stuck in a cave with a bear extending its paw out to help you. Would you let it touch you? Would you let it help you out?

Well this little bunny was far more fearful than the first one and it was not going to let me touch it, medicine song or not. No song was going to help it relax enough to let me lift it up out of the well. Quite honestly, if I was in its position, I don't know if I would let an animal help me! Since, I didn't want to traumatize the little thing, I put some lettuce in the window well along with a towel for it to cuddle against during the night and left it alone.

The next day my husband had an idea about using a box as an elevator. So I brought the baby more food and sent it visual images about being very carefully lifted up in a box. When it was time, my husband and I went to the window well together. The bunny was against the wooden frame of the well, being very, very still. My husband gently scooted the box underneath it, with the open side of the box solidly against the wooden frame. We thought for sure the bunny would be leaping all around the inside of the box, but instead it settled in quietly. My husband slowly lifted the box up to the top, where finally the open end of the box was exposed to the ground. The bunny got out the box slowly, then turned around and looked at him for a few seconds before it bounded off into the woods behind our house.

Having just gotten home from SpiritQuest, I laughed as I told my husband that the word must be out in the neighborhood about rites of passage opportunities for bunnies. I figured the new test of becoming an adult bunny might very well be based upon your willingness to fall down a window well and see if you are rescued. If you let the lady sing to you and lift you up, you have earned your right to be considered an adult. And perhaps now they would add that if you let the man lift you up in a box, this is also worthy of a young bunny's passage into adulthood. We laughed together at the idea that we were now intercessors for rites of passages for bunnies.

Then I got serious. In the rites of passage ceremonies I have personally experienced, I discovered within me a willingness to be humble enough to 1) surrender completely to Spirit, 2) receive help however it comes—from within or without, and 3) die to a fearful part of myself so that I can experience the Divine in more of my life. So I pondered, what it was that I could learn from these bunnies, and what I have deemed their rites of passage experiences.

I wondered, how often Spirit sends help to me that I don't recognize as help? How often am I too afraid, because of all my prior conditioning, to recognize that help may not look like anything I could have ever imagined before. I asked myself, "What if help looked like a bear putting out its paw for me to grab?" "Would I grab it?" "Would I recognize help when it was being offered?"

"Hmmmm," I reflected. "Do I have the courage to take this even deeper?" "Where in my life would I rather do it myself and die trying than receive help—specifically, the only help Spirit seems to be sending?"

Have you ever gotten to one of those questions in your life where you didn't have a fast answer? Well, that's what this question did to me. When I don't have a quick response, I know I'm on the edge of discovery about myself that is going to be very significant. Well, this one must be really important because I am still reflecting on it.

So how about you, is there a bear in your life?