Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Circle of Life

A few days ago I returned from a family camp where I was a teacher to the teenagers. We were in the redwoods, with many beautiful ferns, a small creek running through the camp, and lots and lots of banana slugs.

Banana slugs are interesting creatures. Yellow with brown spots (hence their name), if you touch them, you are liable to get covered in a sticky substance that won't come off for hours or days. Although they often inch around the forest at low speed, they can and do cruise along the pine needle-covered dirt much faster than you would expect.

The third or fourth day of the camp, I was watching a banana slug move along the log benches where the teens gathered every day. He or she meandered around my shoe which was obstructing the path, even climbing vertically for a while. I decided to practice 'animal tarot', asking myself, What can I learn from this creature? What message of wisdom does this creature bring?

After watching this slug for about 20 minutes or so, he had completed a large oval path, winding up at the place he had started when I first began watching him. Ah, I thought, I get it! Nature goes in circles. And it's OK to go in circles, totally functional - the banana slugs are thriving after all. We don't always have all the information available to know directly where the sweet spot is (where the yummy mushrooms grow to nibble on). We can't always make a 'beeline'. Not that bees fly in straight lines either. Sometimes we travel circular paths in life, and we still get all our needs met.

This is applicable to me in many ways. I hadn't connected with the community that puts on this camp for two years, and felt very 'out of the loop', he he. The banana slug reassured me that that was alright. Another way in which I am going in circles right now is that I am moving back into a house I moved out of about a year ago. I feel confident that not only is it a good thing I'm moving back in there, it was good that I left. It wasn't a waste of energy. I was doing the loop of life, gaining familiarity with the terrain.

What about you? Where in your life are you going in circles, but it may be actually benefiting you? Perhaps you ought to take a second look if you think you are stuck in some area. There is a difference between being stuck and simply revisiting something. The banana slug knows!

No comments:

Post a Comment