JUST AS SCARED AS YOU
Foot slipped into the saddle
when the movement was felt
she was out of control
and she knew
The Silent Power
appeared from thin air
holding her there
so gently removed the intruder and said
it’s but a poor cricket
and he’s just as scared as you.”
(In Memory of my Father)
NOTE: Because of a bone abnormality I wore leg braces and corrective shoes through my childhood. I also had a phobia relating to insects. Happily my legs turned out just fine and as the years pass, I have made peace with The Insect Spirits. Every year on the evening of November 5th, my earthly birthday, I spend time reading my past writings and either write or choose a piece to publish in memory of my beloved father. This poem reflects an actual memory of one of many occurrences in which my father came to my rescue and influenced the reinstatement of my peace of mind. He’s since ceased to resist the changing of form and passed on to the “Nother Places,” but I continue to connect with him daily through precious memory.
My name is Gerean (pronounced “Jer-ee-uhn) Pflug. That has not always been my name. My genetic grandparents were Cherokee, Canadian French Indian and German (respectively) My genetic mother was Cherokee and my genetic father was a full-blooded German immigrant. I was born in the United States and named Ronna Marie Bouvier Schinhofen. My genetic parents could not care for me, so at birth, I was relinqueshed to Children’s Home Society in Southern California. My parents, The Lillibridges adopted me and raised me in much love. I later was married, thus the name Pflug and although the marriage didn’t last, I kept the name. So, my full name is actually: Ronna Marie Bouvier Schinhofen, Gerean Lillibridge, Pflug, but you can just call me Gerean.
I love creativity, art, poetry, music, conversations of significance and wit, gardening, and above all ANYTHING to do with animals.
I have always believed that my love and connection to the animals began before I was born. My soul knew the connection before my body did. My connection with the animals has only grown stronger over the years. My mother to this day, rolls her eyes and says to me, “Oh, I swear you love animals more than people.” To which I nod my head and respond, “Yeah . . .for the most part, that’s true.”
I began this blog intially to write about my lifetime experiences with the animal spirits. But my own soul short-circuited those stories by injecting me with passion to write of issues of more international urgency . . . such as:
- Endangered whales being slaughtered inside of protected sanctuaries
- Endangered elephants and rhinos being massacred for profit for the ivory trade & aphrodesiacs
- Abused and neglected circus animals
- U.S. Wolves and other wildlife being completely obliterated from their natural habitats
- Millions upon millions of animals being tortured and slaughtered daily by factory (and free range) farming corporations
- Our oceans wildlife being taken from their habitats to be held captive in unspeakable environments for profit from ticket sales
- Horses being slaughtered in unimaginable ways
- Millions upon millions of sentient, living beings being subjected to unneccessary laboratory testing at the most evil of levels
And the list of “hits” just goes on and on . . and on. The unbelievable inhumanity that has been imposed upon the animal spirits at the hands of man, absolutely sickens me. I will not stop writing about these issues of global spiritual injustices until the day I take my last earthly breath. But, just in case that last breath comes sooner, rather than later, I wanted to get at least a few of my many stories down on “virtual paper.” This post is simply an intro with more to come.
MY LIFE WITH THE ANIMAL SPIRTS
by Gerean Pflug
I was raised by VERY loving parents who were old-school ranchers. I lived the early parts of my life on a 1,000 acre cattle ranch in an Oregon wilderness area and from a very early age experienced amazing relationships with ranch animals as well as wildlife.
My father was a hunter who provided the family meat via deer, or we ate chickens that we raised on the ranch because back in the days . . . we were so poor, we could not afford to eat our own beef. I began crying and begging my father not to kill the animals by the age of 4 yrs. old. His answer was gentle, but always the same, “Honey, this is the way we make our living and we gotta eat, so thank the good Lord for providing us with the means to survive.”
Later, my father moved us to land in the center of the Dairy industry in Southern, California, where he raised grain-fed beef. My job was to care for all of the animals, including the baby calves. Every time a new group of baby calves were delivered, I carried them around in my arms like human babies, they suckled my fingers, I bottle fed them and loved on them excessively. My dad would continually say, “Don’t go namin’ those calves, Honey. ‘Cause you know, they’re gonna become meat soon.” I ignored him each time, and named every one of the calves.
On the days that the butcher trucks would pull up, the men would get out with their rifles and begin to don their rubber boots and overcoats and position the wenches on the trucks. I’d start to cry hysterically, begging my father to spare the lives of my animal friends. My dad would tell my mom to keep me in the house. I’d hear the cattle bawling as they drug them to the spot to be killed. Each loud crack of the rifle would slice through my body and into my soul. I would sob in loud, endless heaves, while my mother held me and tried to soothe me. “Honey,” she’d say, you are so very sensitive, but you have to face the reality that the world eats meat and we make our living raising cattle for meat.
Eventually, my parents would tell me in advance when the butchers were coming, and my dad would have me pack a lunch, go down to the stable to ready my horse, then he’d tell me to ride out and not come back until late afternoon. Although I cried while I was gone, I didn’t have to hear the bawls and the rifle shots and it took an edge off of the soul-shattering agony, but in it’s place was still an overwhelming feeling of guilt for turning my eyes and my back and for the inability to save the lives of my animal friends.
After the butcher trucks left, in an attempt to perform a funeral of sorts, I’d walk to the site where my friends lives were taken. The dogs would be there, eating the remains from the blood-soaked ground, of what was left of a once innocent, sentient, living being and I’d cry to the sky where I believed that God was, and ask “Whyyyyy?”
It was in those days that I developed my-own-child’s mechanism for letting go and saying “Goodbye.” I’d pray to The Creator of ALL, that he would place a special blessing on the soul of the animal spirit (by name) now passed on to the ‘nother places. I’d ask God to whisper to my animal friend’s soul, and tell him that I was deeply sorry that I could not protect or defend him from harm. And then I’d say outloud . . . “___________(name of the living being) You mattered to me.” I still do this and say this at every loss of an animal spirit that my soul becomes aware of, including those that humans refer to so insensitvely as “roadkill.” Every single one of them . . . mattered to somebody. They did not live their lives without significance. They ALL matter to me.
These days, I continue to whisper to all animals, I intentionally send my soul thoughts to them, I pray for them, I feed them, I give them continual attention and affection, I write on their behalf, I adopt when I can, I donate what I can and . . . I DO NOT eat them. In return, they consistently show their appreciation by guarding over me and by offering me their consistent friendship. The birds that I feed tell their babies that I am their friend. Horses and cattle make significant eye contact and scratch their heads against my body. The deer bring their newborns to sleep directly below my bedroom window. The dogs sleep wherever I sleep and watch every move I make. Animals in need find me. The stories are so numerous ~ It will take more than a natural lifetime to write them all, but in future posts, I plan to write some of the most memorable.
To those of you who have been following my writing . . . to those of you who have encouraged me . . . to those of you who tirelessly and passionately take action . . .to those of you who understand and share in this love for our brothers and sisters the animal spirits, I thank you and wish for you the highest level of blessings in this earthly life and beyond.
Blessings on all
who from a place of empathy and compassion,
take action to protect, defend,
provide shelter to, feed,
love and lend voice
to innocent, sentient, living beings
who cannot speak for themselves.
~Gerean Pflug for “The Animal Spirits”