On November 8, 2023

Mountain Meditation: The Great Moose Spirit on River Road

 

When my husband returned from the Killington dump, he was excited and shared his surprise. “Guess what I encountered on River Road?”

“A bear? A beaver? Canada geese?”

Something MUCH bigger. “A moose!” he exclaimed. “When I turned on River Road, I couldn’t believe that a bull moose with a full rack or antlers was trotting down the road directly towards me! I stopped the car. He stopped in his tracks. He looked at me. I looked at him back.”

“How close did he get? Were you afraid?” I asked.

Duane nodded no, then explained, “He turned to the right and headed into the trees. I didn’t drive away. I sat still for a while, and watched the moose as he entered the woods. I wanted to see if a cow moose were waiting.”

“How amazing! What a thrill. Remember the last moose we saw?”

“Yes, the young fellow in the marsh without antlers or stubs,” he said.

“Let’s see what the moose message is in my book: ‘Trust your instincts and inner guidance. The choices you make are up to you. This provides more freedom and responsibility. Karma is solely in your hands. Moose calls attention to your inner strength and wisdom. It’s all about your self-esteem and recognizing your wisdom and worth.’ ”

“It sounds like the right message for me.”

“I wonder if I can meet with Moose Spirit,” I pondered, “to gain more insights into your encounter….”

So I took four deep breaths and raised my eyebrows, then lowered them while exhaling again. My body relaxed as I stood in the marsh, then climbed up the bank and crossed River Road. I entered a thicket of fir trees and scooted up a fallen trunk to be a bit higher. I waited quietly. I heard leaves rustling. Branches broke underfoot as a bull moose approached.

“Hello, Moose Spirit. Thank you for coming. I’d like to learn about you and your family.”

The moose said, “I am a spirit representing moose.”

“Are you related to the one Duane saw?”

“He is my brother – we are all related. I represent all moose and our interbeings.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“We are a species related to deer, but as you know, we are quite unique. We’re known for being tall and powerful, but naturally, we are peaceful creatures. The only time turmoil prevails is when bull moose seek females, cows to breed with. That brings out our tempers and fighting spirits.”

“Too much testosterone like in male humans?” I asked.

“It is a natural way of selection, so the strongest males breed with the healthiest cows.”

“I am concerned about your health challenges here in Vermont and the Northeast,” I queried.

“Yes, most unfortunately we moose have carried an infestation of winter ticks here — they don’t bother deer (or humans, for that matter), but make us sick when many alight on our hides.”

“And the other problem is brain worm parasite,” I added.

“It also makes us tired, weak and infertile. We are powerless against these invaders. If people can help, please let them know.”

“It seems we need a scientific discovery to help control these dangerous moose enemies.“

“It’s tragic to see our young moose calf overrun, sick and dying from winter ticks,” he said.

“I can’t imagine it –—I guess we must rely on science.”

“Perhaps you can share this information to inspire scholars and scientists to search for a cure and way to kill these ticks.”

“My husband was thrilled to see your brother. It was a powerful message for him.”

“Duane has strength of character. He is honest and true (a real catch!). Our message to him is to value his power and knowledge regarding many things. He tends to underestimate what he can do, and how much he adds to society.”

“Thank you. That’s a wonderful message for him. Is there anything else I should know?”

“Humans have been very irresponsible, polluting and damaging the Earth we share. Our current predicament is your fault.”

“I’m very sorry. I hope this can be remedied.”

“We fear extinction in Vermont which happened years ago in the past. I am not a believer that hunting will solve this dilemma. You must do more.”

“I’ll share your words with others in Vermont. Hopefully they’ll inspire young scientists.”

“Thank you for helping however you can. Our situation is dire and threatens our existence,” he concluded.

“So, if any biologist or microbiologist learns about our moose crisis, please, please do help!”

Note: Duane was fortunate to see a Vermont moose. Their birth rate has dropped by half since 2000. Climate change and warmer winters are to blame. They’ve led to winter tick infestation. These ticks and brain worm parasites infect and kill moose throughout the state. “Only half of moose calves survive their first year but 90% would survive without ticks,” according to Vermont Fish and Wildlife.

Today, about 2,300 moose remain throughout the state of Vermont.

Marguerite Jill Dye is a writer and artist from Vermont and Florida.

 

By Ann Wallen

“The Great Moose Spirit” watercolor illustrates the mysterious nature of these giants.

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