Posts Tagged ‘Groundhog Wisdom’

Groundhog Wisdom: Editing for Flow in the Garden, Life and Lyme

I love how life brings themes to our attention on multiple levels at the same time. In my case, I feel the need to edit for flow in several areas of life: the garden, relationships, and my book-in-progress, The Metaphysics of Lyme Disease. Although editing can seem like a left-brained process, I find a gentle balance of observation, patterns and ease provides the best indication of what stays, what goes and what grows.

In the garden, this means acknowledging that groundhogs rule this part of Kalamazoo. Our next door neighbor has already trapped and relocated two “whistle pigs” this year, and we’ve got at least three more who venture into our yards from across the street. Two weekends ago, I spent hours adding compost to the front beds, eyeing gorgeous lettuce, which I planned to harvest that evening. I heard some joyful squeals across the street and thought, “Those groundhogs are excited I added compost, because the produce will taste better. They are gonna love this lettuce!” I dismissed the thought, because who listens to groundhogs, right? Who thinks groundhogs cheer because of garden nutrients?

David and I left for a couple hours to run errands, and when we returned I immediately sensed something amiss. I felt, but couldn’t see a groundhog. Big energy. Big appetite! As I looked for the culprit, I noticed all my flowering purple kale stripped to the stem. And my lettuce, oh, my lettuce! In the center of a round bed sat the tiniest groundhog I’ve ever seen, finishing off the last of it. Five inches long, he was the cutest dastardly thing and ate his weight in lettuce.

Out came the very stinky sprays, which I suspect I hate more than the critters do. Within five minutes, back came the little guy. He nibbled on a couple leaves of chard and echinacea, but they must have tasted awful with all that stinky stuff. He made his way across the street and let out a whistle like a rowdy teenager completing a dare. Very naughty! The next day, out waddled Big Fat Mama, sauntering across our front porch and diving into red clover I’d vaguely “heard” a message to weed every time I passed it for the past week. Big Fat Mama doesn’t care about spray. She just likes her some lettuce, kale and clover — even locating hidden ones I forgot about.

This might seem like a minor mishap, frustration or tragedy, but Groundhog (the spirit animal) provides wise guidance.

Groundhog Wisdom focuses on the importance of clear boundaries and the cycles of life, death/hibernation and rebirth. A shamanic totem, groundhog goes into the Underworld and safely returns. Groundhog’s long winter’s nap connects to Dreamtime, and Groundhog honors Ancestral Wisdom by passing along track ways to generation after generation, even with no direct, physical contact.

Also known as woodchucks, whistle pigs, or marmots, groundhogs are resourceful, intelligent, persistent, and great problem solvers. Groundhog reveals hidden desires and aversions. Although they look alike, groundhogs honor their own personal tastes. They eat what they love and avoid what they don’t. They bring focus to long, complex projects, and they can keep these projects secret until completion. They can burrow and tunnel vast distances, but also climb trees and outwit traps. They know how to disappear when necessary. They look cute, but their sharp teeth, strong claws and metabolic control demand respect.

All of these qualities connect Groundhog very closely to the Faery Realm. Do not underestimate Groundhog!

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