No sooner had I thrown the first tiny piece, than a car came down the street and parked nearby. The lady who got out started on me immediately. “You’re causing trouble for the seniors who live in the building. They won’t be able to sit outside and enjoy themselves without being bothered by these birds now. You shouldn’t be feeding them. It’s inconsiderate.” Honestly, I’m at this building every Sunday morning, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone sitting outside. There aren’t any chairs. No one in this building has a lawn, porch, or balcony. The woman sounded like the typical person who sees any creature other than another human as a nuisance and a pest that should be eradicated.
I had continued to toss little pieces of doughnut all the while she was nagging me. The ravens ignored her too. I always think of good comebacks after the situation is over, but if I could, I would tell that woman that I was communing with my gods. This thought was a rebellion against her ignorance and anthropocentric view of the world. It was a rebellion against the self-defeating, intrusive thoughts that wanted to enter my mind along with her criticizing. If anything, that woman’s words strengthened the idea of the ravens being god-like. I understand that they are just wild creatures, but sharing a small pinch of doughnut was a rare and important moment for me. Afterwards, I felt a reverence for the ravens and the world around me. A couple trees, adorned in bright orange and yellow, caused me to be awestruck. I considered those trees and all trees around me to be gods.
Gods and spirits like offerings. People who follow major religions go to commune often, sometimes multiple times a week. I must also make time and take opportunities to connect with the spirits around me. I doubt that the ravens will bother anyone there. People who already have a bias against them will continue to complain every chance they get. The ravens won’t stay there all day every day waiting for handouts. Ravens move around during the day. Like I said, I won’t make a habit of feeding the animals. I know that wild animals who become habituated to people can cause a lot of harm. It usually ends up with the animals dying too. I certainly wouldn’t do something like leave out food hoping a bear came along. That would be foolish. I usually over-analyze stuff, and thought that sharing a piece of doughnut with the ravens once would not cause any harm.
Later in the day, while still feeling reverent towards the trees and the natural world around me, I thought of how delusional it is that humans think a god made them in its image. Would a god care about such things? Why would a god want to look like a hairless ape? Why would it not?
My gods shape-shift. They can be anything they choose to be, from a raven to a tree. Therefore, the natural world in all its glory should be respected, including all creatures. Christians and members of other religions are supposed to fear their gods. Why? I think it would be more sensible if humans remembered that they are supposed to have a fear of the powers of nature instead of a supernatural being. But fear isn’t the right word. Fear goes hand in hand with ignorance. Ignorance has caused humans to get the idea that the natural world can be enslaved, broken, ignored, and paved over. However, we are seeing consequences to that.
We need to stop praying to a god that we can’t interact with in the physical world. We do need to take responsibility for the damage that we are doing to the world around us. Humans need a relationship with what’s real. We stopped communing with the gods all around us that we can see and touch, but that needs to be reversed. Our ancestors didn’t have satellites and technology to tell them about the weather, but they could predict it just as well, if not better. They had a more intimate relationship with the world.
It’s time to start up conversations again. We need to form a better relationship with the earth again so that we respect its power. This planet is our Eden if we chose to restore it. This planet is our Heaven if we chose to make it so. In order to make that happen, we must drop the anthropocentric views and treat all life equally. After all, did not the gods of major religious supposedly create everything? Why would a god favor only one of its creations over all the others? Most humans need to start thinking differently. They might start to realize that they are no more or less important than anything else.
So, there’s an experience and ramble of the day—an odd bundle of my thoughts.