What is the purpose of our connection with animals? Is it meaningful? I have 4 distinct animals with which I feel somewhat of a sacred connection. Three of the four have shown up in my paintings. I have had either dreams or real experiences with animals that I have never forgotten.
The first is with of all things a pink flamingo. I was probably about 18 years old when I dreamed that I was swimming in warm , salty turquoise water. Who was i swimming with ? A pink flamingo! This animal has not shown up in my paintings and I really do not feel a special connection with this creature but the memory of that dream is very real to me to this day. It was profoundly peaceful. Forty years later, I still feel it as reality,
I have had several interesting experiences with eagles. The first of which was when I was about 19 years old. This was also a dream that I had. I don't recall where I was but I heard a loud noise. I turned around to see an eagle that was about 100 times bigger than they are in reality flying at full speed directly at me. I turned my back to the bird and felt the force of its wing strike my right shoulder. Again, I can feel the force of that wing on my right shoulder today like I did then. A few years ago I was kayaking in the Sasanoa River of mid-coast Maine off the coast of Woolwich. Of course as I often did I was paddling alone. It was peaceful and beautiful and calm. I pulled my boat over and was struck by the beauty of it all. I called my sister Cori who is adventurous like I am. I wanted to share a piece of the pie with her. We chatted for a few minutes when suddenly an eagle flew out of its nest at the top of a pole in the water. He was circling me and howling and getting closer and closer to me. I got the message that I needed to get out of there. So I began to paddle very quickly away. At that instant the tide changed on me. It was like a light switch. I had no control of my boat. There were no boats or people to be seen as it was very early in the season ( I think April or May). I seriously had no control . My instinct was to paddle against the tide. In retrospect I realized I probably should have let the tide take me and it would probably have taken me out to calmer waters but I wanted to get to shore. My boat was getting slammed up against the rocks. I finally was able to grab onto a rock and pulled myself out onto the rock while holding onto my boat. I was safe but stranded on the rock. Eventually a boat came by, saw me and rescued me and took me to the mainland. To this day I feel like that eagle was significant. Like he was warning me to get out! Later I found out that area is well known as Hell's gates.
When elephants show up in your dream it is a message that you are able to deal with any obstacle with which you are faced at the time. Elephants represent power, sovereignty, stability and steadfastness. There certainly were obstacles ahead of me and this gave me some reassurance. To this day , I wear an elephant on a chain around my neck.