Featured Expert: Hannah Thomas Co-founder of Heart Rising part 2

What role does nature and your relationship with it play in your life?

All life is born from the same Sacred Breath.  It is all connected, each life form, a unique and precious aspect of something larger, something incomprehensible.  The mind cannot wrap itself around this larger essence, but the heart understands it because it knows from what it is born.

Nature has much to teach us. It has the ability to connect us with the larger part of ourselves, with our true essence. In our modern life, we have become disconnected from nature to the extent that we have forgotten the balance that once existed, the balance that we are rapidly destroying.  We have forgotten that we need the animals, we need clean air, clean water, healthy trees, and as a wise Native American once said, “Only when these things are gone will we realize that we cannot eat money.”

I grew up in the Adirondack State Park in upstate New York.  At night, wolf-song carried me to my dreams.  Bear, cougar, raccoon, beaver, wild turkey, lynx, and deer were my neighbors.  Today, large tracts of land that these animals called home have been leveled for timber.  Much of the land in the State Park is privately owned. I no longer live there but do visit from time to time, and each visit my heart breaks a little more.  Species need vast tracts of land to perpetuate healthy genes and a strong and healthy species, yet we build across migration paths without a second thought and, as a result, lose an estimated 180 species a day to extinction through our ignorance.

The first inspirational interview we did at Heart Rising was with Dr. Susan Eirich, founder of Earthfire Institute.  Earthfire is a one-of-a-kind animal sanctuary in the Grand Tetons near Driggs, Idaho. The level of trust that she and her partner, Jean Simpson, wildlife expert, have developed with the animals under their care is unprecedented in our world today.  They have discovered that by cultivating respect and understanding with these wild creatures, the barriers of fear and misunderstanding have dissolved, leaving only curiosity and affection.  This trust extends itself to visitors of Earthfire and is a living template for what is possible in our world today.  Wild animals are not what we think them to be.  They are creatures capable of wisdom and compassion, and are equally worthy of a place in our world.  The gift that Susan gives the world is the opportunity to directly experience the harmony, which is possible between wild animals and human beings.  This is something which has been lost in our modern world.


Author: pattybaraibar

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