Barry Lopez, in his story Emory Bear Hands' Birds, wrote "Every person...had an animal companion, a sort of guardian. Even if you never noticed it, the animal knew." We know nature has the power to heal and restore. How are you connected to the natural world? Is there a child you could introduce to nature?
Open the Door
Featuring the writing of Barry Lopez
This is BirdNote.
[Musical selection from Paul Winter’s Canyon, Grand Canyon Sunrise]
Author Barry Lopez takes us into the mind of Julio Sangremano a fictional character in a short story entitled Emory Bear Hands’ Birds. The story takes place at the federal prison at Estamos, California. In it, a Native American named Emory Bear Hands is teaching others about the ways of animals.
Julio says, “…in the beginning, I didn’t listen. Wild animals had nothing to do with my life. Animals were dying all over the place, sure, and for no good reason, but people were also dying the same. I was going with the people. [Pause] ….things though, started working on my mind.”
“…[one] thing that drew me to Emory was what he said about totem animals. Every person, he told us, had an animal companion, a sort of guardian. Even if you never noticed it, the animal knew. Even when you’re in prison, he said, there’s an animal on the outside, living in the woods somewhere, who knows about you, and who will answer your prayers and come to you in a dream. But you have to make yourself worthy, he said. You have to have a door in yourself where the animal can get through, and you have to make sure that when the animal comes inside that way, in a dream, he sees something that will make him want to come back.” [Pause]
Hmm…We know nature has the power to heal and restore. How are you connected to the natural world?
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann. You can find a link to Barry Lopez’ story on our website, birdnote.org
Musical selection from Paul Winter’s Canyon, Grand Canyon Sunrise, Glen Velez drummer
Forest ambient by Kessler Productions
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org October 2017 Narrator: Mary McCann
“Emory Bear Hands’ Birds” from Light Action in the Caribbean: Stories by Barry Lopez, Vintage books www.vintagebooks.comhttp://www.randomhouse.com/gm/results.pperl?title_subtitle_auth_isbn=lopez&x=11&y=11