On a winter hunt a few years back, I was high on a wind swept mountain top in the cold of early morning when I ran across some wolf tracks. My mission was to find a deer willing to gift me its spirit for food and nurturing my own spirit. But, I was not alone in this pursuit, as the large canine images in the snow indicated.

While some hunters hate wolves and see them as competition for the same game they are after, or as an evil impact to wildlife they value higher, I harbor no such ill will.  I am willing to share, and recognize that in the ecological scheme, predator prey relationships is the bottomline to how the world works, like it or not, denial or not.

Following the tracks for awhile and reading their story in the white landscape, my mind drifted like the snow. A faint memory thawed out in my semi-frozen brain and an old indian story came to surface. It seems that there was once and old grandfather who had two wolves inside himself that struggled with each other. One was filled with hate, anger, and revenge. The other was filled with love, compassion, and forgiveness. “Which one will win?” Asked his grandson. “The one you feed,” he answered.

Even Aldo Leopold tapped into the same earth wisdom when he said:”Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop of his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators. ”

A Nez Perce elder once compared animals to human body parts, like fingers. Each finger represents an animal, and if you cut off a finger then that animal is lost. How many fingers are we willing to cut off before saying no? You can lose a few fingers, arms or legs, but at some point the damage kills you.  Each loss of animal is another step towards loss and diminishment of the whole.  All creatures are related and have their place for  adding diversity to the world.  Ecosystems that are healthy have no missing parts.

A rainbow, is not a rainbow any longer with the loss of even one color.  I prefer rainbows and the artistry of nature.

“The goal of life if living in agreement with nature.”
– Zeno

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