Badgers and Bulbs
I did not know badgers could run so fast. Of course, having never seen a badger running, how would I know? This one padded through the forest like it was on a mission, the fur of its low wide body brushing up clouds of dust along the way. I often reflect on all the causes and conditions that have to be in place for me to see anything—let alone a badger running.
As we continue down the road, we come to vast fields of wild onion in bloom. This particular species, tapertip onion (Allium acumitanum), is incredibly profuse this year. The flowers paint a pink hue of pigment floating just above rocky basalt scablands. It is amazing anything can grow on this thin layer of soil on the volcanic landscape. But onion bulbs seem to be at home and offer a seasonal dash of color to the red-brown dirt and black basalt.
Other surprises on this trip include a hidden spring with deep blue camas and shooting star growing along the outlet. A number of of elk wander by, their large size casts a stark contrast over the smaller deer species we usually see. Wild horse signs abound in piles at our feet. OMG, so many horse cookies! We smile because we know a magnificent and unique herd, named for the Ochoco Mountains, was just here.
All these wonders of the natural world mirror the wonders of the natural mind. They are reflections of the wild, adaptable, and capable qualities of our original unconditioned awareness. If we learn to ‘read’ nature, we understand our own part in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand, if we isolate and only view nature through YouTube videos and PBS documentaries, we disconnect from the best Dharma teacher. Maybe I will title my next book, Badgers and Bulbs: A Guide to Surprise and Wonder in the Buddhafield.