Animals as Teachers: Wisdom from a Beaver

A family of beavers lives in a pond right off the Puget Sound, very close to my home. Recently, a friend and I visited it in hopes of catching a glimpse of these industrious animals. In the dusk of a smokey sky with a red setting sun, my dog eagerly explored a shrub on the bank of the pond to my amazement a beaver sauntered out and glided into the water. We observed this beaver silently glide along the edge of the pond, stopping here and there but always continuing on to complete a full circle of the pond.

He then came over to swim in the middle of the pond and give us a private audience.  I introduced myself to him and gave him great thanks for swimming by us and let him know how excited I was to finally see him.  For years I have been stopping by the pond in the mornings observing his handiwork from the night before and collecting wood chips from his night snacks for my sacred fires.  I know the beaver as grand architects and teachers of how to design and efficiently build our lives.

Photo credit: Friends of Seney National Wildlife Refuge via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

As he swam in circles in front of us I asked him in relation to the phrase “Busy Beaver, did he have any wisdom to share with the humans on how to be as efficient when we are all as busy as beaver, too?”

His response was like a wise elder speaking to a young person, “Slow down and take the time to survey and relish the silence. ”




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