If you could be any kind of animal, what would you be?
I would be a wolf. I’ve always loved wolves. I’ve read everything I can about them. I’ve watched every documentary. I don’t know when my love for wolves started. I just know I’ve always been drawn to them.
When I was in my early 20s, I drove up through Canada to Alaska. The “highway” at that time was often a gravel road, stretching for miles and miles through the wilderness. I camped one night by a lively creek in the Yukon. As I settled into my sleeping bag, I heard wolves howling in the distance. I could barely hear them over the rushing water. I clambered out of the sleeping bag and unzipped the tent to stand in the growing darkness and listen, every nerve alert, my heart racing, their mystic song singing in my soul, calling to me.
I felt like the dog Buck in Call of the Wild, longing to go join them. I could almost see myself among them, one of them, living with them, hunting with them, howling with them. It was primal. And a bit scary.
Why wolves? I don’t know. I admire their family structure, their communal devotion to their young. They seem genuinely happy to see each other after being apart. They play. Perhaps these were qualities I yearned for when I was younger. A sense of belonging. An ancient wisdom. A joy in living.
What about you? Is there any animal that you identify with? If you like, you might look up the animal’s symbolism. I found out that wolves represent teaching, which is interesting since I have been a teacher for so much of my life. What does your animal represent to you?
[This post, by the way, was inspired by a discussion I had recently in the comment section of another blog. I would like to give credit to that blog, but now I can’t remember where it was. If you know, would you tell me? I’d be glad to add a link.]
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is a program to help us develop habits to grow a joyful spirit. Many of us sabotage our happiness by habits that we might not even be aware of. Identifying and changing these habits can build a reservoir of well-being to enhance our happy times and sustain us during challenging times.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Just For Fun
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I so enjoy your choice, and what a great purpose and reason you offer for picking a wolf. I must say I'd simply like being a dog. But please do I also get to pick who my master will be ...because the life of a dog (I really believe) has a lot to do with it's keeper....do you know what I mean?! Great post, gets our mind in gear with the call of the wild!ReplyDelete
Karen, I agree that the desirability of a dog's life has a lot to do with the owner! But I love your choice because to me, a dog represents the purest form of unconditional love. A dog loves us the way Jesus told us to love each other. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Yeah, I love wolves too!! I dont know what animal I would be, cause I would want to be soooooo many!!! lolReplyDelete
Yes, there are many choices, and many animals I am attracted to, including dragonflies and certain birds. Can you give an example of just one of the animals on your list? Thanks for commenting.Delete
I also love wolves. Julie of the Wolves was one of my favorite books growing up. I also drove the Alaska/Canada highway! It has probably improved since you did it but it was still an amazing experience!ReplyDelete
Erin, I bet the AlCan is paved all the way now! Do you think you would be a wolf if you were an animal? Thanks for commenting.Delete
I got goosebumps as I read of your camping experience and stepping out of the tent to listen. Your response to them was very moving for me.ReplyDelete
Teresa, Thank you. It is one of my most vivid memories. Thanks for your comment.Delete
Galen, I have always found wolves to be fascinating, too. Your camping experience sent thrilling shivers down my spine, as if I could hear those howls as you did.ReplyDelete
I read years ago that wolf packs are more like human groups than any other animal with, perhaps, the exception of the apes, and exactly for the reasons you describe here. Though I don't have a totum that I know of, since I am comfortable with teaching, the wolf would suit me just fine. I will have to research this interesting topic!
As always, love your posts, your thoughts, your challenges.
Martha, That is interesting about wolves and humans. I read a book recently about how humans and wolves blended their evolutionary development back when they decided to join forces around the campfire. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I love wolves, know a great deal about them, and use them to teach my classes all the time. My choice, however, would be the tiger.ReplyDelete
JJ, How do you use wolves to teach? I'm intrigued! And I remember your tiger avatar when I first started reading your blog. What about the tiger do you identify with? Thanks for your comment. Hope you will follow up with another!Delete
My husband and I have two shih tzu. We brought them home as puppies; we've had one for seven years and the other for five. They are a continuing reminder of the joy of living in the moment. They seem interested in everything, eat when they're hungry and nap when they're tired, and are ready to give and receive affection at any moment. If I could read their minds by their behavior, I'd say that for each of them every day is "the best day ever." I'm trying to cultivate that attitude, and they're among my best teachers.ReplyDelete
Clara, Dogs have a special bond with people, that's for sure, and we can learn a lot from them. So if you were an animal, is that what you would be? Thanks for commenting.Delete
What an interesting thing to think about! My first thought was to be a dog, as I have always had dogs and love them so much; but then I thought some more and decided that to me the horse is such a noble animal that I would be honoured to be one.ReplyDelete
Also, after reading your comments about the wolf, Galen, I know exactly what you mean about being drawn to them. That feeling has been intensified since I read all of the Game of Thrones books...
Alexia, Horse is a good choice. The first poem I ever memorized and recited in school was about a horse. I grew up with horses and love them still. Thanks for your comment.Delete
Like Alexia, I thought of dog first because I love them. But dogs come from wolves and I must confess there have been times, (just for fun and to weird out my husband) I've howled at the moon, discovering a strange familiaritye in the act.ReplyDelete
Nice, how you always come up with such iteresting thoughts Galen.
Myrna, I have done a bit of moon howling myself! Thanks for commenting.Delete
I enjoyed your thoughts on this subject. I find your posts always challenge my thoughts in different areas. I think my favorite is the bear; but I will need to think about that one. Otherwise, maybe a dog; since I love dogs. Thanks for an interesting read and blessings to you!ReplyDelete
LeAnn, How interesting that you are drawn to bears. Can you say a bit more about what qualities of bears you identify with? I confess, I have a fear of bears. I'm not sure why. I'd love to hear more about your bear thoughts. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Raptors(eagles,hawks,owls and falcons)fascinate me. I am also fond of ravens - they are so intelligent.ReplyDelete
Riley, Those are some powerful, magnificent birds! We have crows in our neighborhood. Not the same as ravens, I think, but maybe cousins? Anyway, they are wonderful to watch. Thanks for commenting.Delete
This is so interesting Galen, I've missed reading your blog and decided to take a wee bit of a break today and wonder on over... I'm starting here and will return again when time permits to backtrack, good thing there's no expiration date on words! lolReplyDelete
I was given a book from a dear friend while I was in Australia, the book is interesting, it's called "Animal Messenger" and it's the "Interpreting the symbolic language of the world's animals". The author, who signed the book for my friend, is Scott Alexander King. He's a brilliant writer I must say and he describes the symbolism for each animal in various countries.
A brief overview of the Grey Wolf according to King:
"The Pathfinder - (as you mentioned) being profoundly loyal to the family group, individualism is also held in high esteem...Grey Wolf Dreaming encourages us to break away from traditional belief, organised religion, family settings, jobs that demand regular work hours, and any other conventional, structured system that limits or shuns creative thinking and free spirited ideas. Grey Wolf Dreaming instills a strong sense of self, purpose and direction."
The wolf seems to be you to a "T".
For me it's the turtle, the turtle symbolizes Mother Earth and longevity. "Turtle dreaming instills in us the unconditional love and nurturing the Mother Earth provides. Just as a mother will instinctively shield her baby from danger, Turtle Dreaming reminds us that we are never alone and that no matter where we go, we are constantly cradled in the protective arms of the Earth Mother. Turtle Dreaming promises that if we learn to ground ourselves in her nurturing energy and continue to move through life at a steady pace, we will be assured competition of all set tasks...Turtle dreaming affords the powerful ability to bring about profound change in the form of healing and personal growth..."
And this, my friend, describes me and my life to a "T".
Here's a bit of blogging I did on this back in Nov. 2009.
You can click on this link
I was going to apologize for the long comment, but why?
Have a g'day.
I'm so glad you took the time for a long comment--how interesting! I love this description of wolf dreaming. I can identify with all of that. And what I know of you seems to fit turtle dreaming very well. I look forward to checking out the link you provided--thank you.Delete
Hi again Galen, as it so happened I had an AA speaker meeting on this night. I was the speaker, and somehow I ended up sharing briefly on my animal. Reflecting on this later I now understand why this transpired the way it did, so thank you for this post.Delete
I find inspiration comes to each of us when we need it, IF we are open to it. You my friend, have inspired me on many a late, lonely evening while I was writing... thank you for this.
darlin, Thank you so much for coming back and sharing this. Amazing how that works out, isn't it?!Delete
Wonderful thought provoking post my friend Galen - I am a dolphin and it's funny upon looking up the symbolism of dolphins I see the word grace which also my name Nancy means grace....so the universe is transpiring in our graceful state...ReplyDelete
Here's to joy in living,
Nancy, A dolphin--how perfect for you! And a name that means grace--I didn't know that about Nancy. Thanks for your comment.Delete
Galen -- my wife and kids say I remind them of a monkey. In fact, last Christmas they got me a t-shirt that says "98 Percent Chimp." But I might like to be an owl. A couple of them live in the woods behind our house, and one of my favorite sounds in the whole world is the hooting they sometimes do as evening comes on. They strike me as observant and wise and powerful in their own right and usually quiet but not afraid to make a racket from time to time!ReplyDelete
Stephen, My daughter is a monkey on the Chinese zodiac. It is a perfect fit for her! But how nice that you are drawn to owls. We have some in our neighborhood, and I love to hear then in the evening. Good choice! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Galen, I can definitely see the wolf in you. :) For many of your same reasons, I think I'd be a crow. I recently went to a lecture with the authors of Gifts of the Crow, and love them even more after learning further about their antics, social structure, and intellect. They seem an awful lot like many of the people I love. :)ReplyDelete
Chris, A friend of mine in New Orleans had a crow for a pet for years. I can't remember how she happened to get the bird in the first place. Maybe it was injured. But that crow was the smartest bird. Everyone loved him. I'll have to go back and ask her to tell me more of the story. We have a lot of crows in our neighborhood, and I love to watch them. You can see the intelligence in their eyes. Thanks for your comment.Delete
Hi, Galen! ~ReplyDelete
I admire animals with beautiful costumes, like peacocks and flamingos. Actually, many birds and butterflies....
I often write on the subject of animal totems, also, not sure if you've participated in any of those conversations, such as:
Linda, When I was a girl, I had a horse that we kept at a farm out in the country. The people who owned the farm kept, in addition to horses and typical farm animals, an assortment of exotic birds. Peacocks strolled around the barn. I never thought of it as unusual until years later. Those birds were all so beautiful.Delete
I'll check out your link right now. Thanks for commenting.
Dogs are my all time favourite.I had two pet dogs and I must say they give us unconditional love.They are so faithful and give us strength when we feel low.Great post Galen and I liked your choice of animal too :)ReplyDelete
Diana, True, I can't think of another animal who shows such unconditional devotion and love. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I like wolves, too, Galen, and identity with them strongly. They are great family animals. One of my spirit guides is a wolf. A very powerful one who has taken me o a quite many journeys. I miss him, and this post inspires me to do a journey to him tonight.ReplyDelete
Jodi, I'd love to hear about some of those journeys sometime! Thanks for commenting.Delete
I think for me it would have to be some kind of bird. I'm not sure what kind, but definitely not a scavenger type!
Birds can fly, which gives them tremendous freedom. This sense of being free and going where they want is what appeals to me most about birds.
Do check out the blog when you can. I have a small surprise for you!
Hiten, I have finches and a canary, all of whom bring much music and joy into my life. Have you ever dreamed you could fly?Delete
I'll be right over to find my surprise! Thank you!
I'm a dog, because all men are sometimes, a cat, because nothing's better than a nap, and a raven, because I'll never be finished investigating.ReplyDelete
I used to be a wolf too, but I outgrew it.
Mikey, You are always so much fun. I don't think I will ever outgrow my wolf spirit, but there is room for some alter animal identities as well. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I'm glad I found you.ReplyDelete
Very interesting concepts on perception and on the animal totems. My grandson loves wolves at fifteen.
I tried to think what animal I would be. I love dogs and horses but not sure I would be either. Another commenter said, it would depend on the owner when we talk about domesticated animals.
I shall have to think long on this.
Gail, I'm glad you found me, too! If you come up with some more ideas about what animal(s) you would be, let me know. Thanks so much for commenting.Delete