Do you have room for miracles? Couldn’t we all use a bit more amazement in our lives? This was how I made time for the miraculous last weekend.
My husband and I attended the Prairie Awakening at Kuehn Conservation Area in Dallas County, Iowa last weekend. https://www.mycountyparks.com/county/Dallas/Park/Kuehn-Conservation-Area.aspx This has been an annual ceremony at the 770 acre nature preserve since 1998. It features a celebration of our native prairie lands as well as of the indigenous culture of the Midwest.
The perimeter of the circular arena was outlined with elegant, tall grasses and blooming prairie flowers. One of the early portions of the program involved a bit of education on the monarch butterfly life and migration. The Naturalist, Chris Adkins, spoke of himself as a scientist, then shared a quote from a world-renowned scientist.
There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein
He had me with this quote! The lucky monarch holders were each invited to plant a kiss upon the proboscis of their tagged butterfly. Then the winged wonders were told “Adios, amigos” at their release to begin their long migration to Mexico. Typically, this creature only lives two to five weeks during the summer. This last generation of the year migrates between 2,000 to 3,000 miles to overwinter with our neighbors to the south. It was thrilling to hear that monarchs tagged here in Iowa have been tracked to their winter location! Amazingly, this migrating generation can live up to nine months! How miraculous is that?
When do you suppose the butterflies typically arrive to their southern destination? It tends to be around the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. Can you imagine the arrival of these huge kaleidoscopes of butterflies? It is no wonder it is commonly thought that butterflies can carry messages from our dearly departed loved ones. https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/biology/index.shtml
A rehabilitated red-tailed hawk, who was injured by a pellet gun, was introduced. We gazed into the wild eyes of this majestic bird. Imagine how few humans get this chance. Ponder the relief of that fortunate critter to finally be able to freely fly the skies again!
Room for Miracles of Reconnecting Cultures
Native American Dallas Chief Eagle led group dances with audience members. A small gathering of drummers kept the beat with deeply resonant native drums. The chief demonstrated a beautiful, traditional hoop dance. These hoops symbolize many things: our horizon line as well as individual spirits of animals, trees and rocks. The hoops seemed to magically become looped one into another in the midst of his dance. For me, the highlight of his graceful movements was when the numerous hoops extended far beyond his arms’ reach. He greatly resembled the bird of his name as his arms and hoops seemed as wings!
The chief also led a brief meditation with Grandmother Rock and Grandfather Rock. In imitation of a rock, one was just to fix their eyes upon a rock (or another singular point) and empty one’s mind of thoughts. Aren’t rocks a perfect example of being still?
Let’s go back to the Albert Einstein quote. Here is why I was motivated to write this. I had a copy of this very quote on a white board attached to our refrigerator for several years. This was during the time between our son’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis and his passing. Miraculously, this time period was nearly seven years. During that time, our son did accept nearly all of the scientific, Western medicine treatments offered. However, we also explored much from the natural world of healing. Our son believed he would not have been here as long if it wasn’t for the additional things we did. I also know he would not have been here as long if he hadn’t had most of the current Western medicine practices.
A balance of honoring science as well as the spirit of nature, especially when fed with a miracle mindset, enhances life.
So, is it possible to have room for miracles? Just as our family experienced, the Kuehn Conservation Area is blessed with a harmonious blend of science and spirit. Through the years, the conservationists have developed a relationship with indigenous, spiritual people. It was a learning process for them to discover how to ask for this relationship to occur. This celebration has become a draw for local people. Unity and sharing fosters the marvelous.
I cannot recall how many years we’ve attended. Through these celebrations, I’ve become intrigued enough to acquire my own Native American wooden flute as well as a hoop drum. I’ve honed my love for nature.
Last, but not least, relationship to the land is critical. Our country, our earth sorely needs all of us to adopt these attitudes. The Dallas County Conservation Board are tremendous role models on many levels. You enhance the heartbeat of the land as well as community. Thank-you for the miracles!
If you enjoyed this, here are two more posts on learning from the ways of nature: Think Like a Dog and LESSONS FROM MOTHER NATURE. Feel free to subscribe to my weekly blog – go to the very top of page, click on Follow Blog and enter your email. Thanks for reading!