A couple of weeks ago this kestrel landed very close to where I was wandering. He sat for a while, and occasionally looked at me as he rotated his head to scan the landscape for food. I was close enough to look into his eyes, and I had the same feeling I had when I looked into the eye of a whale in Alaska. It was a momentary connection, but I felt it very deeply.
My deep-hearted connection with the kestrel reminded me of something an indigenous elder shared. The elder spoke of how humans spend so much time trying to change each others' minds, particularly about how we engage with the Earth.
People passionately present scientific evidence of the effects that our present existence has on our planet, and then the information is countered with dissenting arguments. The exchanges happen over and over, but minds remain unchanged.
The elder declared that a change of mind cannot happen without a change of heart. And it is the connection with the Spirit of the Earth and all Her beings that causes that change of heart.
He suggested that a change of heart begins with ourselves…the smile offered to a stranger, a kind word to each other, the appreciation of a fresh blanket of snow, a thank you to a bird for his song, the gratitude for all the Earth offers us.
Kindness, caring, and gratitude...the keys to a change of heart.
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