It sounds perhaps a bit ridiculous to think animals and birds have their own clubs, but I think they do. It feels like a sacred right of passage when you’re accepted into these clubs too. It takes dedication. Each club requires certain protocols to be known, requirements to be followed and a good grasp on their language, both body and voice. Awareness and respect are key.
I was first initiated into the barred owl club and then the winter wren club. After the wrens accepted me I was soon able to meet other birds up close because as each bird accepted me, they stopped alarming my presence when I entered the forest. That’s when the door to animal clubs open up. Perhaps the most difficult club to be granted access to is from the douglas squirrel. They are demanding and sensitive little fellas! I’ll never forget the day the robin redbreast’s let me in. I could finally walk through a lawn of robins feeding in the grass without disturbing them. Robins are amazing teachers and an incredible ally to have.
While visiting my Mom I learned what had perhaps been keeping me from joining the raccoon club in North Vancouver; my little pup Cricket. As much as she tried, she couldn’t stop herself from intently starting through the glass doors at the raccoon family when they came to visit my mother’s patio and play in the fountain. She never chased them, even when we slept outside and one climbed onto my pillow atop our inflatable bed and popped it, but her curious intensity always left them feeling on edge.
For the first time I was able to slide open the door to greet the raccoons without a wet dog nose pushing up beside me for a closer look too. Raccoons are all about the sense of touch. I nearly cried when I felt the velvety softness of raccoon fingers gently touching the palm of my hand. We shared no fear.