I recently returned from Alaska where I had the opportunity to explore wilderness areas with National Geographic. We traveled on a small ship, often going ashore in zodiaks to intimately experience forests and animals in pristine habitat. It was beyond amazing, and I know the effects will continue to unfold over the coming months.
On our last day, we visited a raptor rehabilitation center, which had a profound impact on me. There were wounded eagles, owls, ravens, and hawks in varying stages of healing. The center’s goal is to care for the animals and then release as many as possible back into the wild. The animals who can’t be released become teachers for the visitors from across the world.
As we gazed at a magnificent eagle sitting patiently on his handler's arm, I had a powerful realization. On the surface, it appeared that the animals were being healed by humans. I realized, however, that these animals were in truth healing us. As our group sat quietly attentive to the eagle, I could feel hearts breaking open all across the room.
These raptors were ambassadors from the natural world. They gave up their freedom to be a bridge, connecting their species with ours, building understanding, respect, reverence, and love across species. They shared the essence of our Beloved Earth with us.
I am so grateful to these magnificent animals, who are providing uncommon and profound service.
May their work continue…
(New photos on website Gallery: wandernature.com/new-photos)