As an introvert and hsp, I've always felt most connected when I'm in the woods with my closest friends the trees, and definitely more comfortable around animals than people.  The unspoken is understood.  If I can gaze into an animal's eyes, or feel the spirits of the natural world (or otherworld) around me, that communication is everything.  

I've been listening to a new-to-me podcast, Fair Folk, by Danica Boyce, and her interview with author Nigel Pennick has been on repeat.  (I now want to read every single one of his books.) He talks about "eldritch," the otherworldly within our world and how you can experience the eldritch world, such as in natural places where something of the earth comes out, like a tree, a river, a well, but also in hidden and unexpected places.  I feel this every time I'm out in the woods.  I now know this name.  Your experience could be an encounter with an animal.  This particular possibility struck a chord with me, as I have had several what I would consider magical encounters with animals, the most recent just last week. 

I was walking my usual path one morning and thought I saw a very large bird through the trees on an open patch of grass.  As I came up a small incline where the trees opened up, a peahen was there.  She turned sideways and looked at me.  I stopped cold and kept my eyes on her.  I really wasn't sure what kind of bird she was at first.  She had a light brown body and emerald green neck and head.  It was only when I could see a wisp of plume I thought she might be a peahen.  We stood still just gazing at each other for what was probably mere seconds but felt like an eternity, and then she slowly walked into the trees.  It felt like an silent connection, currents flowing between us.

There have been others, but the most memorable animal encounter I've had was around 2012 in Salem, Oregon late one night on River Road.  I went around a corner and saw that just ahead in my headlights was a buck.  He was beautiful and majestic, a truly magical creature.  I stopped, a shiver running through me.  He didn't run, he just turned his gaze toward my car for, again, what felt like an eternity.  I can still see his massive antlers very slowly turning.  At the time I felt very strongly that it meant something, for me to see that being at that time, to feel such a connection when I so needed to, and I still do.  

I don't know if it's the magical yet natural turning of the wheel, where my mind is at right now, if I'm just reading into things or because I'm feeling very open to things, but in other ways as well it has felt like the natural and the otherworldly are dancing not only in my peripheral vision but in full view of my open heart and mind.  Even when it appears there is nothing, look deeper, open up, and you might see what has been there all along.

by mlekoshi