Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Messages from the Animals

Each year it is a tradition here to ask several of the animals what they are most thankful for. We humans do the same, and invite any of our animals who want to chime in to share what they would like to share. Here are this years quotes. We hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

The question posed to each animal was: What are you thankful for?

Amber Donkey: The sun. I am thankful for the sun because it warms my joints, fills my heart, and makes me dance with joy. The other fine thing about the sun is you can be sure it will be there each day. Even on days when dreariness prevails, you can know that above those clouds of despair, is the sun. If you doubt that, just ask the birds to fly high enough for you and let you know what they see. Above all clouds is blue sky warmed by the sun.

Mack: (Border Collie, recovering from a broken spine at his tail and bowel and bladder incontinence.) I have so much to be grateful for that I would not be able to list it all. The people who love me are valued by me beyond all else in my life. Second to that would be the wind. I love the wind. It brings great news and reassures me of my place on the earth. The wind is my friend. My toys. I am grateful for all toys, mostly because attached to them is usually a human friend ready to laugh with me as I play with them. Over the past year, I have found many treasures, and healed several things. The one that is most meaningful to me is my tail. I have not been able to wag it for many months. But now, it is starting to move when I want it to. I want my human friends to understand that I am happy. And I am most happy when they share with me the parts of them I love most, so that we can dance together in laughter. And my hope is that they will hear this.

Merlin: (African Grey Parrot) – My friends and the ability to remember them and feel them even after they are gone. I most miss my friend Phoebe duck. She and I shared many thanksgiving messages together. We both understood life in similar terms. Neither of us could fly in the wild, both of us started from and egg, and we love the humans who care for us. Phoebe lived to be very old. Although she is not here this year, I am grateful that she is still my friend.

Barak: (semi-feral cat badly injured when brought to us and now fully, miraculously recovered) I am thankful for the help I received to know a body filled with life again. I am grateful to be offered a different life now with so much more to learn and grow.

Jeremy: (Arab gelding, mid 20’s) I am very grateful to know love and feel peace. I love my barn, the space I am given to be a horse on the earth, and my friends. I miss my friends who have left before, but I am blessed to know they are still here and to feel them in my heart, AND in my barn. And I am grateful to an old donkey lady (Amber Donkey) who has breathed her wisdom into our herd. She may be loud, but at least she has wise things to say.

Ducati: (rabbit) I am grateful for my life and the ability to share that with those who need me. I just love to share all of who I am. I am not complicated. Life need not be so. Just live it. That’s what I say. Live and give. The rest just hops into place.

Dinah: (36 year old Quarter Horse mare) These days I am happy to discover each morning that I am breathing! Life is precious. I am grateful and thankful for each second. And that is the truth. I am also grateful to all who help me get up when I’m down and to know I don’t have to worry about that. My friend Chops has stood by me for years and I am grateful for her strength and caring. She is a gentle soul.

Addie: (Quarter horse mare – mid 20’s, new here this year) I am grateful to be asked this question! I am particularly thankful for my entire life. I love my new herd and for the people who are new to me as well as the ones who have looked after me my entire life. I am very blessed. For this I am thankful. Oh, and my peppermints. I am eternally grateful for peppermints, just had to add that.

Sage: (goat abandoned with 2 female kids and a young male goat and brought to the farm this year.) I am thankful for a home. I am most grateful to know safety. It was hard to believe at first, but now I understand it. We have a home. We never had one of those before.

Grace: (Border collie/golden retriever mix, 5 months old, born with brain abnormality) This is an easy question. I am grateful for my brother Tucker who brought me here. I have leaned on him when I couldn’t stand. Eaten with him when I didn’t know how to do it. Played with him when I felt joy. And beat him up when he needed it. He brought me to my home where I know love like I couldn’t have dreamed of. They have given me certain footsteps when I couldn’t find them. They have given me direction when I couldn’t find it. They fed me when I didn’t know how to eat. And now, they have given me the chance to think and to grow soundly. They love me for how I am. They allow me to bark with joy when I have to. And they love to see me run as fast as the wind. Just like Tucker told me they would. Life has turned out to be something I want to live and for which I am very grateful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ask Amber - November 2009

Once again I have to apologize for the delay in a post. Things are very busy on the farm and those of you on our mailing list, should be getting a newsletter in the next 2-4 weeks. It is at the printers now. In the meantime, here are two questions submitted from a supporter in Denmark.

Dear Amber,
I was very happy to read on the website that you have moved to the smaller stable where it is warmer in the winter. And I was even happier to learn that you enjoy being with new friends and still keep in touch with your old friends.

Your blog means a lot to me. Thank you for your patience with us humans. I feel there is so much to learn and understand about how you animals look at and understand the world. Lately, I have become quite interested in understanding how everyone (human) is conditioned – socially, biologically, culturally – all these conditionings influences our way of thinking and perceiving the world. And I understand that – in relation to you animals – my thinking is conditioned by being human. But I find this last point hard to explain to other humans, as many don’t acknowledge that there is only one consciousness – which manifests in both animals, humans, plants and everything. So all your answers are very precious to me, as they help me to broaden my understanding, and break up my conditioned way of thinking.

I hope you will help me with these two questions.

1. I live with my 4 cats on the countryside. They are all very good hunters, and I understand that it is their nature to hunt, even though they are fed by me with plenty of food. However, when they “play” with mice, frogs, and birds, I always wonder if they really don’t care about how the mouse, the frog, or bird feels. Don’t they care about the fear, or pain of a fellow creature? I must admit that my ability to communicate fails at that point because I get very involved emotionally. I would like to understand my cats, and I would like them to stop playing with their prey and causing more fear and pain.

Amber Donkey: This is a very interesting question. First, let me tell you that the answer lies within your very question. Just as you said above, there are many factors that come into play and influence our way of thinking and perceiving the world. That is not just true for humans, it is also true for animals. Animals also can become separated or more distanced from their nature. In fact, the more we are around the energy of humans and the culture and social structure of humans, the more affected we are by that. That is not a negative statement about humans now either. It is just a statement of fact. You could say, the more domesticated we become, the further from our natural instincts we get. So your cats have all the instincts to hunt but they don’t need to for their survival so their actions become tainted or skewed. They are not deliberately torturing the prey animal. But they are also not wholly honoring their relationship either. You see? Its not totally balanced as it would be if they were in the wild and they were hunting for food. In the wild state, they would remember the quick release of their prey is important. But when their lives don’t depend on hunting, and food is handed to them, they lose that part of the relationship, just like humans. There is no easy way to work around that. It is their state of current awareness and relationship. Their intention isn’t to harm or torture, it is to play. They have been numbed in a way to the emotions of their prey. It is no different for humans and their food. Or humans who watch a lot of violence and then seem indifferent to violence when they see it for real.

2. I often tell other people about Spring Farm CARES, about you and Dawn and everyone else I’ve met or heard of on the farm. Some humans become very inspired; some find it hard to believe what I tell them. When I told a friend that you animals are very well informed about what is going on in the world, she wondered, “what does a horse (or donkey, or any other animal) do with this information? They don’t take action, they don’t vote, they are dependent on our actions and decisions. So why should they know about what is going on in the world?”


Amber Donkey: Now there is a very human response. Imagine how it would be if we animals asked, “what does a human do with the information we give them? What do they do with all the information that nature provides them? They don’t seem to take action and just keep making the same choices over and over again, even when it is obvious it doesn’t work?

You see, Anne, it just depends on what side of the coin you are looking at. By the way, I have often told other animals about Spring Farm and the humans here and they have found it hard to believe at first too! But I digress.

The truth is that all living beings strive to find out what is happening in the world around us. Because we understand that what affects one, affects all. What is happening thousands of miles away from this farm, can and does, affect this farm. Humans think they have the monopoly on communication. They just have a piece of communication technology. But where you rely on technology, we animals understand it is simply about listening. We don’t require technology to communicate. You don’t either, but you have forgotten that. Its ok. Eventually your technology will come back around full circle and catch you up to what you already knew how to do anyway, if you hadn’t separated yourselves out of nature.

I thank you for your wonderful questions!