ONE LOVE

Here are some of our neighbors. If you've ever heard a howler monkey vocalize, you know that our neighborhood is not quiet. It's probably the jungle equivalent of Manhattan.

In the pre-dawn stillness, the crow of a rooster who lives halfway up the hill next to ours is drowned out by troops of howlers loudly proclaiming their sovereignty. The sounds that come from these monkeys are strong and deep. The first time I heard a howler howling in Costa Rica, the animal that came to mind was a lion. They can make a real commotion when there are seven or eight troops of them scattered in the mountains surrounding our house. There's a place just past our pool where you can turn in a circle and get the full effect of the bowl of mountains in which we live. I call the spot my sacred circle because it's practically impossible to stand there and not feel the wonder of it all. It's like a holy IMAX theatre. In every direction there are wild green mountains, but for the spot where the mountains bow down to the sea, offering us a slice of distant ocean view. My sacred circle is an excellent vantage point for picking out the locations of different troops of monkeys. It's crazy how sound bounces around in our valley.

As loud as the howlers can get, though, it never feels irritating, as does the bark! bark! bark! of a dog on a barkathon. It feels as though the monkeys have their woofers and subwoofers in full operation the way their calls resonate in the lower chakras. Pretty primal, alright.

Now for that yin yang part. Yes, I do sometimes feel like Snow White of the Jungle, communing vibrationally with all my jungle creatures, but then I'll see something so tragically sad that I've got to be able to connect with my inner stillness in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed with sorrow.

This scene got me sobbing. I was driving by and noticed vultures congregating. When I discovered why, I was overcome with emotion. Nothing can get me going more than a mother losing a child or a child losing a mother. This mama cow was staying close to her calf, who appeared to be dying, to protect it from the vultures who were just biding their time until they could swoop in for a meal.

I was so angry at the vultures!

Then I looked at the flip side. There's always a flip side. Maybe that vulture sitting high on that fence post was a mama herself and this was her equivalent of waiting in line at the butcher shop. Well, when I looked at it that way, I felt sorry for the vultures. Who loves vultures? What if you had to hang around waiting for other animals to die so you could eat them to survive? How would you like mealtime to mean frantically tearing away at a dead animal in the road while dodging cars zooming through your dining room? What did these creatures do in their past lives to have to come back as vultures?

I was about to shoo the vultures away, when again I realized that to interfere with this carefully orchestrated balance of nature would be presumptuous on my part. I could only offer my love to the mother cow and her baby and stretch my heart to extend it to the vultures as well.

I've spent much of my life trying to put everything in line with how I think things should be. I can now relax, knowing that the best thing I can do for this big world of ours is to drop all negativity and love how things are already. Love is far more potent than resistance.