I heard the rustling and turned to see two small faces staring back at me. They were not scared, they did not move, but looked me in the eyes and I knew their meaning was good.
Two mule deer bucks with soft, small antlers peered at me through an arbor of cottonwood and balsam. I gave a slight bow as we locked eyes, then they turned and walked through their own path towards the lake.
Deer are not too common here at this city park. The next man I passed did not see them but did recall that he saw a fast red fox. The fox was not there for me to see, but was a message for he alone.
A hawk follows me everywhere, black and white and glorious in size. He circles and each time I look up he is there. “Oh hawk, please teach me your ways,” I say. I imagine myself shape shifted into the hawk and wear his face. Pointed nose and piercing eyes, I seek what he teaches me in disguise.
The young bucks teach of transformation and great compassion. They are the guides and protectors into the spirit realm. They teach us to be gentle and see everyone with eyes of love. The hawk teaches us to see through eyes understanding and allows us images of the whole scene.
The animals have always come to the people over many centuries and time, on every continent our ancestors knew them. Notice, who is there? It is not a coincidence when you see many more than usual, or an animal not typical to the area, or when you just know in your soul that their message is for you. Look up their meanings and see. Listen. The animals offer their guidance. Let us offer them safe places to rest and always thank them for their wisdom.