Rebirth, the Journey by Roisin Conroy
While sleeping outside on the mattress that fateful bat night, I couldn’t help but know there was a lesson mixed within the raw fear and unpleasantness of the situation. As bats flew above my makeshift sleep pad (all night long, might I add) I thought about a lot; too much, really, which was spinning me into the “face your fears” tizzy in which I found myself. Unfortunately, the light of day did not put my fears to rest, with the hardest part of my journey to come, represented symbolically by my naked leap over the root of my fears.
Perhaps I was overlooking my connection to nature, and this was an overt attempt by the spirits to help remind me that I, together with every human everywhere, am inextricably connected to all of the other living creatures on this varied, elemental Earth. Then I thought that I must be taking my riches for granted. That night reminded me that merely having a secure roof over my head was not only a gift, but one that I should not take for granted, as I do.
Then, I thought of the book “The Mutant Message Down Under,” where Marlo Morgan learns to commune with nature the aboriginal way. I recalled one passage where she learns, in the midst of dehydration, her exhausted and hungry bones being explored by crawling scorpians and other desert creatures, traipsing in and out of her ears, eyes and mouth, with the sun pounding down upon her, to let go of her mind. Which brought me to investigating Bat Medicine, as ascribed by our Native Americans.
Steeped in the mystery of Meso-American tribal ritual is the legend of Bat. Akin to the ancient Buddhist belief in reincarnation, in Central America, Bat is the symbol of rebirth. Bat embraces the idea of shamanistic death. Shaman death is the symbolic death of the initiate to the old ways of life and personal identity…The final initiation step is to be buried in the Earth for one day and to be reborn without former ego in the morning…
Symbolic here is the Earth as womb, as darkness and the sounds of animals prowling force the “initiate” to confront his or her fears.
So it could have been worse. At least I didn’t have to go into the dark night alone and bury myself alive. Still, I like to think of my own initiation as a reminder of how far I have come in this life, and how very far it is I have to go.
Gary Strong says
Boy do you have that right! You definitely don’t want to be buried alive in Gus’s country. Dad
Mark Buban says
It’s funny to me that I came back to read the conclusion to your story today. As I was walking near 9th and Michigan last night. Something swooped down near my head, close enough to make me duck. I watched it come back around in roughly the same flight pattern. I’m fairly certain it was a bat as they fly kind of freaky. It was about 4 a.m. and I was completely sober so I don’t think I was hallucinating…and I think the birds are all sleeping at that time of the day as I never seem to see any until around sunrise. Anyway, on to the story…it speaks to me as I’ve been thinking a lot about confronting my own fears lately. And I think a lot about how the Earth is alive, just as we are, and the connection is very real to me. I wonder if the Earth feels our invasion as we multiply and build on her? Sort of like the kitten next door to Vince that was rejected by it’s mother and found to be insanely infested with fleas this past week. If the Earth were the kitten and we were the fleas…does the Earth feel the burden that little kitty felt? Just wondering…and again, I’m completely sober.
Read an article yesterday from National Geograophic on zoonotic and specifically bats. Man those dudes can harbour some crazy amount of diseases.
No bat patting!