Awasos means Black Bear in the Abenaki language. Think of it as my call name. I am Abenaki, Bear Clan, and it has taken over 50 years for me to get a small understanding of what that means. Although this blog is about the power of Nature and PTSd, I haven’t written much about that. Why? Because in order for me to acknowledge PTSd, I must also acknowledge that bad things have happened to me that caused it. Being in the Natural world allows me to become a part of something greater than my own existence, greater than all the horrific things I’ve encountered thus far in my life. Everyone’s trauma is unique to them even if we experienced the same trauma side by side, as individual human beings we would process those experiences unique to our own culture, temperaments, religions, environments and more. Even how we were raised as kids impacts how we perceive.
My mother always told us kids that we needed to find something to believe in because someday that might make the biggest difference in our survival and how we will be able to help ourselves and in so doing help others. It’s hard to imagine helping others when we are in the middle of our personal whirlwinds of memory and the moral questioning of our involvement in the destiny of others and ultimately ourselves. My religion is the Natural world, the world of Nature. I learn from each creature about the many unique ways each creature responds to life around them. I don’t have to go to a book but observe the environment that I’m in: smells, sounds, the habits of the other creatures, and how they all get on with their lives.
Nature holds no expectations of me. Just “to be” like the family of Partridge (Grouse) up by the Sweat Lodge today. The same family that sought refuge down by house, wood shed and back porch when the Hawks were out hunting after a week of rain. Everyone was hungry when the first sun of the week eased the natural order back into living. I sat up by the Lodge just being. Just allowing myself to be apart of it all. The birds came in close through the ring of white pine that has grown close to 20 foot over the last 12 years. Hundreds of people have come and gone. Some I miss dearly. Some I don’t. That’s the truth. The Natural world reminds of the cycle of seasons, and life itself. “It’s not a race” Gramma always said, “it’s a walk.”
I had gone up to the Lodge to do some weed whacking – my incessant need to keep moving, keep in control, keep vigilant, keep doing because that is what I have lived believing that is what – who – I am and there was a time when that strategy was what needed to happen. Somehow, that changed me. I sat by the Lodge in the pines and remembered sitting in the woods as a kid. The innocence is no longer but the memory is there. The emotion is there to remind me that I have survived for a reason. Only in hind sight am I allowed to really understand most of the reasons. Like right now. I am alive for you to read this. Yes YOU. The world needs YOU.
Today I made the choice to not take the homes of creatures that can not defend themselves. There will always be a mission. I must adapt. The Natural world allows me to do just that in my own time. This is not a “clinical” blog. I am a human being and I’m o.k. with that. The world needs YOU and I to be ourselves as the Creator has made us, needs us and intended us to be. The Natural world allows me to sense everything at the same time but in a good way, a way that restores life and peace, albeit minuscule increments at a time on some days, but it’s there. Not all people understand this relationship, this side of who I have become, who i have always been. No all people understand Nature. The Bear takes its time ambling and chooses what warrants a response and what does not. The Bear knows the inherent wisdom of laying to rest in torpor and gives us permission to participate in that wisdom of seasonal preparation. Ursa Major has begun to dip toward the horizon, the Great Bear preparing to bed down for winter, to heal, to rise again renewed, hungry, and alive.