When I was on an Animas program last year called At Death’s Door out of nowhere I was asking to be called Ready, or Reddy. My soul name for a while has been Red Wolf, yet there was something in this new name that felt different, though not disconnected to the wolfie one. There was a fox who came by each night who some of the participants saw. It turned out that the new name was supporting me to be ready for death by living fully. At that stage, I had no idea what else Mystery had in store for me in connection to this name.
I have had the pain and privilege of a beautiful vixen coming into my life recently. The pain ~ she was dead. The privilege ~ to touch, smell and behold her body up-close-and-personal, the gift of her in her living and the gift of her in her death.
I would like to add here that part of what Mystery wanted me to do was have her skin. It is not something I have ever done before, nor something I wanted to do. I am a soulcrafter not a handcrafter. Yet, as clear as day, it was evident at the core of my being this is what I was being called to.
As with all of my soul work, I try to bring the action into a sacred participation, a ceremony. A friend who is experienced in skinning animals came to support me and in many ways, to hold space for me. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life. Strong, both physically and emotionally. When I had peeled back her incredible coat and carefully unpicked her skin from her face, and then finally, after two and a half hours, I had her entire pelt in my hands I collapsed in sobs. I was so cracked open, so exhausted and so indebted to this one in a way that felt completely aligned with something bigger than me.
I took her body and laid her in the earth for Her to take her back. I have her skin in the freezer, waiting till I am ready to tan it. I visit her grave each day, I feel her close by sometimes when I’m quiet or in between sleep and being awake.
The poem below says most of what I wish to share at this stage. As such, I remain humbled, in awe, in grief, in reciprocity. I believe it will take the rest of my life to discover all the ways why it is that Mystery has sent me this magnificent being.
Being Made Ready ~ In honor of Ready the Fox and all foxes on this earth ~
Oh my love my wild wild love. Oh my grief, my gratitude. My reverence, my humility - deeper than the cavity now left in my heart for the precious gift of your life in a world that does not stop the car to honour, to be with you. For the gift of your death to this one whose journey with you is yet unknown, is in the hands of Mystery. You, who walked softly across leaves and twigs, whose exquisite paws took my breath away. You, whose magnificent blond, black, red coat shines like your life force itself is nothing but a privilege to touch, to smell. Whose blood-pumping heart breath called across the night for your mate, your will to create life in every minute move of limb. Sat here in the stillness of this wind-sheltered space I feel you. Your soul lingers now alongside mine. I am being made Ready, then, to tread your path, to track myself, to sniff out all the lost parts of me through that darkly entangled beauty way that is your true home, your underworld. The one, the only one we can tread together. And tread we must. Two souls tracking as one. Like our soul life depends on it. Now, my heart is left tender, raw treasuring, honouring the gift of you to the end of my days. 14th January 2021