Lessons from a Meerkat

lessons from a meerkat

Late one night, I watched a documentary about Meerkats. One of the adult males had been bitten by a snake during the night. The Meerkat, named Ernesto by the filmmakers, crawled out of the burrow, barely able to move. His face was black and distended, his eye swollen shut.

As the creature lay panting for breath, I turned away, my eyes spilling over with tears. I couldn’t bear to watch Ernesto’s chest rise and fall for the last time and then stop altogether. Because that’s what happens in nature documentaries – an animal dies, as if to remind us of the brutality of nature or perhaps of our own fragile existence.

Contemplating the death of Ernesto brought almost as much pain as watching a human being lose the fight against disease or old age. I felt embarrassed by my sensitivity which seemed to border on sentimentality.

With my heart breaking for some random animal dying in African desert, I recognised for the first time, that this was what it meant to be one with the whole world – to feel the pain of the forests, the oceans, the mountains, the animals, the birds and the insects. This sensibility, this connection to the earth, is what it means to be female, woman and goddess.

Amazingly, after two days, Ernesto managed to survive the poison coursing through his body and rejoin his family. It would seem that nature is not always brutal, she sometimes gives us second chances.

meerkat T

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

2 thoughts on “Lessons from a Meerkat

  1. I cried my eyes out not long ago over a short video about Big Cats that had been raised in captivity and badly declawed to the point of being in constant pain and not being able to walk properly without it hurting them. It was from a group trying to ban declawing in the US, with which I wholeheartedly agree. I’m glad the little meerkat was able to survive, too. Now I just need to work on being able to cry my eyes out over my own stuff and not just animals 😛

    1. Declawing sounds truly horrible. :'(
      It might be wrong of me to promote the benefits of crying when we’re constantly told to be happy, but a good cry soothes the soul.

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