Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Gift

The road my life has taken was dotted by odd things that came out of the blue. I grew up in Connecticut into a garden variety blue collar and loosely Catholic family. I was was gifted in the arts and curious almost to my physical detriment.
I some how always came out okay... even when I thought my parents would cull me for giving them grief.

From a very small age I received a lot of experiences from nature that to me seemed odd and magical. I was fascinated by bugs, birds, animals, rock stones and fact all manner of "wildness". We live  close to the beach and me and my siblings spent a good part our days on the beach as a place to go, explore, and grow up. We were sent there quite independently...without supervision so it represented a kind of freedom.

My favorite thing to to do while on the beach was explore the tide lines for shells and interesting things. This kind of exploration excited me. After great storms you could find all sorts of different shells, bits and pieces... churned up from the depths. For a young artist this was a treasure source for new materials.

When I was around 8 I was exploring a pile of shells and discovered a unique thing... It looked like a tooth about 2 inches long and a inch wide. I wasn't sure what it was yet I knew it was special and rare. When I showed my parents they dismissed it as a crab claw or a kind of snail shell...I was not conveinced
and keep the "tooth" in a special place. I would take it out and marvel at it and wonder who it was?

Around a year later my Dad took me and my older brother camping at Hammonassette State park. It is on the beach. They have a small nature center with displays of things you can find left by the surf. In one of the cases held an exact specimen of my tooth. The label said "Baby Sperm Whale Tooth" I was amazed and it really deeply affected me to have this rare item.

Back then I didn't know anything about "Shamanism", "Life Force" energies, or anything that I would later be initiated into. What I did recognize was that the ocean had given me a gift... a rare and special gift. I kept the tooth with me and near me for almost 18 years after that.

Life has a way of unraveling when you are "gifted" with talents and you do not understand how those gifts fit in the world. My mid 20's were mark by self destruction and trying figure things out. I moved a lot. I ran from my self... or at least tried to. I was angry. Resentful. Lost. And in one of those "moves" the precious tooth was lost. At the time when I realized it was gone I felt that I had not taken care of the gift and the universe was doing what it needed to do.

I'm now 48. My life is different and full. I travel and teach. I work hard to share knowledge that has been given to me from my teachers and mentors. The tooth has been long gone yet never forgotten.For me it was lesson that reminds me how fragile our connections are and if we do not cultivate them they move on.

Over the years I marvel at some odd facts about the State of Connecticut. One being our state Animal. Which is the Whale. Connecticut was also known for having one of the largest whaling fleets... so, we hunted our state animal to almost extinction.

I never thought I would receive another whale's tooth.Yet the universe works in mysterious ways. I'm just part of how it manifests and I do my part as needed. At the American Society of Dowsers convention this year I was gifted a sperm whale tooth by a woman who's father was a scientist and when he died he left all sorts of bones and teeth. She wanted to give this tooth to someone who would know what to do with. And she felt in her heart that it was me.I was humbled.

I was unprepared for my emotional response to this. Thinking about this tooth and the long cycle my life's journey took to receive it. There have been deep tears from somewhere inside of me that I don't fully  understand yet I know something has begun...

Some things I did not know about the sperm whale that I found interesting.(via Google and Wikipedia) It has the largest brain, makes the loudest sound, dives the deepest,and  is the largest toothed mammal... I suppose I have my work cut out for me.

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