Watching the birds and the dogs, all of the animals, I am continuously struck by their absolute total capacity to be exactly who they are. Babies do it too – when you look in their eyes, they are absorbed by you and you have a chance to be absorbed by them. A sparrow is 100% sparrow, no pretence, no shame, no wondering what it would be like to be an eagle or a worm. It is sparrow.

Running through all of the (non-human) animals I know and love in my mind’s eye, I see that this is a trait they all share.

Watching sparrow sit on a gate and chirp, scratch, chirp, listen, chirp, scratch… I see a being that knows how to embody every aspect of itself without holding back.

A sparrow doesn’t go on a quest to find its true self. She is just sparrow. Until she is not. And then she is dead.
They fight, they build nests, rear young, eat, drink, form relationships, scratch, dust bathe, fly, chirp… Each action done with complete commitment.

Inevitably, I then begin to compare their example of presence and commitment to myself. I am learning to be like sparrow. To eat when I am eating, to speak, to sing, to listen with such wholeheartedness.

Sparrow doesn’t have ego, or inner work to do, that’s not her path. But I do. And it is that inner work that has led me to be more like sparrow – not wanting to be someone different, not needing validation for living on planet earth. Sparrow owns her spot on that fence with clarity and grace. If challenged she will fight or acquiesce but each is done with full commitment.

I was talking to a good friend today about my current project – combining my three websites into one and designing a logo. Just like sparrow, I am bringing all of myself into one space, sitting fully on the gate, singing, with all of my feathers blowing in the wind. Sparrow doesn’t assess whether she will be accepted before she sings. She doesn’t compare her song to the blackbird’s song. She just sings. She knows, on some level, that she is exactly who she needs to be – sparrow. And so she does her sparrow thing.

During this conversation with my friend, she asked me many questions. One of them was “What are the words you would use to describe what you are doing in your work?”

I closed my eyes and felt my body held by the earth, I felt the wind on my face and the warmth of the sun on my skin. I heard the birds singing and felt them there in the trees, part of my experience, close but untouchable.

George Monbiot came to mind – his re-wilding – bringing back the wolves that then eat some of the deer, allowing trees to grow and rivers to reform, deepen and consolidate due to the new boundaries given by the trees.

I realised that I equate my life and work with the coming of the wolves, the re-wilding that George Monbiot speaks of. I tried for many years to hold back the process, tactics that many will recognise – eating nice food, emotional and physical intimacy, chatting on about stuff, keeping busy… all lovely things but they can also be used as a distraction from feeling deep pain, fear or hurt. And if it is not felt, it can’t be let go of, so it stays with you, hurting.

Resistance is not a pleasant occupation and yet I tried it for many years – resisting the call of my heart to be really seen. Which means I was resisting all of the connections and collaborations that could be made with a brave and visible heart.

The wolves can come in many forms – physical and mental illness, loss, accidents, divorce, redundancy… whatever pulls the rug out from under you. Their purpose though, is not to cause suffering but to show you how your river can run through the earth in all its power, sustaining you and those you meet. They come to shake you out of your old outmoded ways and show you who you really are. They come if you have not been listening to the call of your inner wild heart.

I am not sparrow. I do question and doubt sometimes, I do take time to work out who I am and why I am here. But something has happened recently. My river is running more deeply and I have made friends with the wolves. And now it is time for Woodspring – Finding Your Wild. Here you will find all that I am, wrapped up into one. I hope there is something in here that touches your wild spirit, and if something does, I look forward to seeing you soon.