In her bestselling Animals as Teachers and Healers, author and animal advocate Susan Chernak McElroy shared how her beloved animal companions guided and sustained her through her battle with advanced cancer. Twelve years later, when a fire ravaged her mountain home and reduced her emotional security to ashes, once again animals—wild animals this time—provided the guidance that helped her heal and grow through yet another catastropic life change.
Writing with a passionate love and respect for the natural world, McElroy invites us to walk with her along the ancient four-footed path that leads through transformation into wholeness. The rattlesnake coiled inches from her hand, the broken-winged hummingbird who sat on her finger and drank sugar water, the red fox and his Saint Bernard playmate—each becomes an incarnation of life-sustaining powers, teaching us better, healthier ways of being in the world. These true stories and a host of others speak to the necessity for ritual, the value of generosity, and how to deal with essential life changes by reconnecting to the earth and its rhythms.
McElroy documents rich insights that come from her animal kin—animals in the wild and those in the inner world of dreams and visions. A cougar and her cubs bring balance and harmony to the valley. . . . A friend’s chocolate Lab builds medicine wheels around his human companions, reminding them of the need for community. . . . A cow elk attacked by wolves faces her own mortality stoically, teaching us that endings of one kind herald beginnings of another.
But it was the magnificent six-pointed bull elk who ventured into McElroy’s world each day and reappeared in her dreams at night that led her on her most inspirited soul journey through homelessness, divorce, and the deep sense of disengagement that she had felt since cancer had tried to evict her from her body years before.
A powerful, beautifully written story of one woman’s journey of personal transition to a genuine sense of belonging in the world, the book ends exactly where it should—in a heartfelt sense of home on earth, a place big enough to welcome all life.
About Susan Chernak McElroy
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Published June 25, 2002
by Ballantine Books.
Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Health, Fitness & Dieting.