The Dark-Underbelly

    I have been deeply in love with my life here on the island, so close to nature, so easily able to observe the living world. It has fed my heart. I feel nurtured. I’m reminded how amazing and miraculous life ALWAYS is by slowing down and just...seeing it. It's moving. It takes my breath away.  I watch porpoises swim right next to my house. I see and hear large flocks of eider ducks in the fall and winter. I watch eagles and deer, so comfortable, so at peace in their skins, in their home. In MY home. 


    I've been letting my goats and geese wander the property lately. I find they don't stray too far from the house. It's so bloody bucolic! It gives me such immense pleasure. It's hard to define or understand. But it's a joy, beyond description to me. Every time I see them on the hillside cliffs, munching the brush, living the way they were designed to live, it fills me with delight.


    My geese started laying those HUGE geese eggs! I'm finding them randomly on my property and in the "barn." What a PLEASURE!  What am I gonna do with 6 huge eggs?? Rarely do I eat even 1 CHICKEN egg. A goose egg is a very rich equivalent to about 3 hen's eggs. I decided to make an enormous cheesecake with 3 of the eggs. The other 3 are just sitting there... It's a dream. It's all a magical dream.


    Then: The Coyote


    I was in my studio and noticed some movement on the hill. It was a large animal for sure so I grabbed my phone and started filming. What I captured was a coyote very quickly capturing, killing and dragging one of my beautiful lady-geese down the hill. Holy Shit! I wasn't expecting THAT! Shit! My gorgeous joy maker! My honking goose who is really not much more than eye-candy that lays edible, rich eggs, my feathered friend meandering regally across my yard, Gone. In a few heart-beats just gone. 


    I felt like I was gonna vomit. How did this happen!?  And how DARE that beautiful coyote, whom I was completely willing to worship, just snuff out the life of my magnificent GOOSE!! I was shocked. Then I was so angry. Then I was scared. I was actually scared for a few days. I'd hear the eagles screech and think, they're gonna kill someone! Once I saw an eagle attack some ducklings, but the ducklings went under the water and weren't caught. I was glad for it, though I knew that eagle's gotta eat too!  Right? My GOD. Nature is SCARY! It felt like a dark mist sank and obscured my world, just for a few days.


     Mostly I was in shock. It reminded me of when I lived in Germany and we had an earthquake that lasted about a minute. Germany. Who the hell would expect an EARTHQUAKE in GERMANY? The next day I just basically sat all day and looked at the ground wondering how it could look so normal after all that rumbling. This felt the same. I just couldn't seem to accept in my mind and body, what I had witnessed.


    My anger turned to compassion for the graceful coyote. I imagine that he (she?) would feed its pups with my young, healthy, egg-laying goose.  I mean she was just there, a sitting duck as it were. But almost right away I went back to anger! Is it MY responsibility to feed these wild animals with my livestock? I really don't think so! And how BRAZEN of this dog to come right next to my house, put my animals in a squawking frenzy, and then kill one in cold blood! 



    And just how DID the other geese and the goats fair? Surely they were traumatized from witnessing this as well. They were making a great racket when it happened. They surely noticed one of their number, one of the flock, who always move together as one, is no more. Just because they seemed OK doesn't mean they were. I can't really communicate and find out how they're holding up. I've sometimes noticed when the eagles fly over, that the geese get very still and turn their heads heavenward, to watch them. The geese are too big for the eagles to attack, but not too big for the coyotes. 


    But that's the way of it, isn't it? Night follows day. The darkest hour is just before dawn. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.


    What can I do about it? Learn. Live. We are sharing this world. Big Fish eat little fish. All I can do is be as kind as I'm able. To understand. To be compassionate. To LOVE. To be reasonable. And to keep the geese and goats in the large pen! (Though it breaks my heart to do so!)


    At least I don't have to worry about eggs rotting on my counter for a while. 


    Should I get another lady goose? Not yet. I can't. It's a body thing. Maybe if I heal the scared part someday. In the meantime, I still have goats and geese and dogs and eagles and ravens and porpoises and whales and deer...and coyotes and fire ants and mosquitoes and biting spiders too. 

    What a strange glorious world!



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