by: Tracy Buechler
via creative writing bootcamp Spirit Animal session
Once upon a time a child, a small girl took on the shape of an Armadillo. This Armadillo was lost, she wandered the empty highways in a land of heat and sand. Her hard armadillo shell protected her from the elements. She did not understand how she got to this place, where were her people, where were the other Armadillos.
Scared and alone Armadillo rolled into a protective ball, not allowing any of those elements to enter her space.
Soon she began to feel sick, wrapped up so tight, she was sick with wonder, what is my purpose she asked. Why am I ugly, why am I so hard, why have I been left to struggle on my own. Night came, she loved the dark, the coolness of the air, she could be invisible. But sadness settled into the night sky, the stars were like little fires that burned into her heart, all while she travelled along the highway, searching in the dark for what she desired, for her purpose.
When the sun began to rise, Armadillo felt the heat and felt her fear rising like the temperature. A giant shadow blocked the sun, a hawk had spotted her. The hawk soared above her, swooped, soared, swooped down again. At first Armadillo rolled into a protective ball, her hard shell would protect her, stop the feelings of ugliness and despair, as she clung onto her security a small crack opened in her shell and a small beam of light touched her eye. The light pierced into her soul it spoke to her, the word it repeated was release, release, do not be afraid you have more to offer than a hard shell and a ball of fear.
Armadillo gave in, opened up. The release felt good even with death looming overhead. The hawk had landed beside her waiting silently rather than poking her with his beak and ripping at her with his talons, the hawk gently laid a feather upon her and spoke. The words that emerged announced that flying is not for everyone, holding space for yourself is more important than finding a purpose, purpose will reveal itself when you allow others in and love yourself.
In the heat of the desert, on that lonely highway Armadillo cried, I am not ugly, I am not all shell, I am an armadillo, as she found her strength she looked to the horizon, just over a dune appeared other armadillos, they gathered around her, shielded her as they made their way together to the watering hole. So many different creatures had gathered at the watering hole, watching the others Armadillo felt serenity, she realized her purpose was to be herself, yes she can be hard, she can put up her shell, at the end of the day, after all she was an armadillo, rather unique and special, saying no to flying is ok we all don’t want to have feathers. Acceptance is leads to purpose.
That night by the watering hole, in the coolness of the dark Armadillo began to transform, her child form was gone, she had grown, she was bigger and felt wiser. Armadillo felt arms gather her up, lift her high, when she opened her eyes she was surrounded by beautiful familiar faces, her ancestors, her family.
Tracy Buechler is a mixed media artist and instructor residing in Warman, SK. Tracy believes that creativity is vital to our existence and well being and loves to share her gifts inspiring others to find love and strength through creative expression