I’m going to D.C. in April with Defenders of Wildlife to lobby for wildlife. I’m so grateful for this incredible opportunity to get a glimpse of the inner workings of our government and if nothing else, take advantage of an opportunity to stand up for my values and take my truth as far as my voice will go. I don’t know exactly how this trip will unfold, who we will be talking to, or if anything will get through to lawmakers. Still, the anticipation of this trip has inspired me to clarify my thoughts and connection to wildlife. For me, it’s a spiritual crisis, to disrespect wildlife and their habitat. How do I communicate this to people who don’t feel the same way and who have a different agenda? How do I communicate that every time a wolf or a grizzly is shot down, simply for crossing an imaginary border, my soul suffers. This poem arose from that inner dialog…

Beyond Four Walls

Your church has a steeple, a pew and an altar.

My church is vulnerable,
exposed to minds that separate themselves
from trees, water and animals.

You find peace within four walls.

I find peace Within
when my mind expands with the winds.

What do you hold sacred?

I hold the Grizzly Bear sacred.

In all her awesome power and presence.
I revere her partnership with the moths and the entire, living breathing forest.
She reminds me of my place in the circle of life.

When she is killed out of fear and ignorance,
when her home is desecrated,
my spirit suffers.

My church has been vandalized—
the place that holds me in love and understanding.

Will you step outside with me
and listen to a divine language understood only by a
softening mind?