For the last week or so, we have received the Raccoon family as a daytime visitor.
The first time the family appeared totally surprised us...the dogs went frantic over what they perceived as very challenging behavior from unblinking, unafraid beings. One of our neighbours asked me a few days later if one of our dogs had sustained an injury...Lucky howled the place down.
It was six AM. Not a good time for dogs to tree Raccoon, if you wanted to sleep.
I thought they would leave, with the dogs' yelling holy insults, me standing a couple of feet away...what self-respecting, shy, wild animal wouldn't immediately head for the hills? They were outside the fence, in Chestnut tree, looking down with great interest, knowing they were completely safe.
But a few moments before, one of the children had almost become breakfast for Lucky...it was the skirmish in the back, by the pond, that gave me a heads-up. But Lucky is not called a good fortune name for nothing...the baby went free and unhurt. It would not have been a good thing for Lucky, had he hurt a Raccoon baby. Raccoons are known for their ferocity.
There were only three that I could see on this particular day. The patriarch and I had a conversation, after I quieted the dogs. I suggested it was not his place, especially in the day time when the dogs were about. He told me they were only snacking on the blackberries ripening in the August sun, on the far side of the fence.
As he stared down at me, I felt I could drown in his black eyes. I told him to be careful...I could not always be there at the right moment to rescue any stray baby. I wished him good luck as I took both dogs into the house, marveling at what a gift I had received so early in the day.
They came back the next day...five of them, this time. I was working in the garden, near the fence, when once more the dogs raised a ruckus. I saw nothing, although I could hear the odd rustle of brush, in the blackberry bushes that crowd our fence.
I put the dogs into the house and closed the door and wandered back to the work I was doing. It took just a few minutes before one Raccoon, then two...and three, four climbed to the top of the fence, watching me silently. They were perfectly balanced.
This was extraordinary! All those deep, black eyes giving my soul a message sent long rivers of flowing energy through me. And then...the Patriarch. He jumped onto the fence with a chitter, nodding his head at the youngsters, who disappeared back the way they had come...melting silently into the blackberry bushes.
We weren't far apart, he and I. As he stared at me, I had the presence of mind to ask him what he wanted to tell me. I felt no fear, just a healthy awareness of any tools I had at my easy disposal. And Raccoon felt familiar and beloved...his energy signature was very easy to re-member.
But this was a wild animal, and so I stood with my shovel at hand. We looked at each other for a long while, it seemed...that warmed, black stare, bright and unblinking, burned its way deep into me. It was a moment unlike any I have experienced before.
I searched Raccoon and his message on the 'net after the Patriarch had sinuously turned and left, gathering his children, I supposed, for the trip back to where they had come. The dogs, after marking their 101 different territories, settled down with me as I tried to decipher what Raccoon's message was.
His totem medicine is that of the Protector of Underdogs. Raccoon is asking me to give generous protection to those in need...the young, the infirm, the elderly. He is reminding me to use my ability to assist others without allowing their dependence; and that benevolence and generosity always come full circle to reward the giver.
It may be time to share my energy with some less fortunate than I. But he is also reminding me to remain balanced in all my bodies...the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical bodies. He asks that I honour myself and my beliefs. So that I have enough power to give generously to others.
I have been reminded about balance a lot lately. Articles seem to jump out at me. I think it's time to take a really aware look at integrating all my bodies, using each as a resource in differing situations. And trusting that what I give is what I'll receive.
That's pretty good stuff for an afternoon visit with the Generous Visitor, I think.