Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Nomadic Journey to the Soul's Oasis

Like a mirage we appear,
racing across your imagination.
Sailing ships of the desert
We come!
Across dazzling swells of sand
Arid Winds 
Sweet with sage and almonds, 
warmed by the memory 
of cinnamon, acacia, cedar 
The Winds blow dreams 
of a 1001 nights,
of Pharaohs and Queens.

We will teach you how
to Endure 
to go without
to do without
We provide all
meat, milk, wool
in a harsh 
and unforgiving world

Conserving sacred water
with every grateful sip of sky.
Our blood will flow 
when all else has dried up, 
given to the thirsty winds.
We adjust and survive
where others would wither,
by the demands 
of our domain!

Though the earth itself
may shift around us,
still we will find our way 
with steady heart and sure steps,
three or four-toed
two by two over the dunes.
In the the shuttering shift of our breath
or blink of an eye
blinding sands are swept aside 
to reveal truths ancient and new.

Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.
Drink deeply!
Begin each journey filled to the brim, 
knowing your own glass 
is full;
half water, half air. 
Be mindful
For what you take 
is all you will have
for the journey ahead.

We've got a hunch
Like the High Priestess
our richest lesson
is to become sentient islands 
of bounty at all levels
in a wasteland 
of illusions and gullibility

Wisdom and Humility 
in equal measures.
Heady spices,
our precious cargo.
Follow us if you dare!
The journey may be arduous,
fraught with perils,
surely bejeweled 
with sorrows and hardships. 
it was always
about how we make the journey, Beloveds,
never about reaching the destination. "

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing  today? Congrats to Jaguarwombyn and Willow (DCK)

"It has never been, and never will be easy work! But the road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination." Marion Zimmer Bradley

"I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, but we are well equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom." Les Brown

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. "Greg Anderson

The Family Camelidae is made up of camels, llamas, and alpacas. There are two living species in the Genus Camelus. The single-humped Dromedary or Arabian Camel of West Asia, and the double-humped Bactrians which are native to Central and East Asia. According to the San Diego Zoo, domestication of the Camel occurred somewhere between 4000 and 2000 B.C.

Highly adapted to their environment, they could live and thrive in conditions that would kill other cattle. Camels are ruminants and even-toed ungulates that graze and browse on a variety of desert plants, grasses, shrubs and trees. Infamous for their ability to go miles without water, Camels are extremely hardy and astute guides. Earliest camel fossils appear in the late Eocene times, between 56 and 34 million years ago. At one time, camels were the size of rabbits!

Their physical adaptions for their environment are as practical as they are interesting. A camel's normal body temperature can range from 34°C (93 °F) at night and up to 41 °C (106 °F) during the day. It is only beyond temperatures of 106 degrees that a Camel will begin to sweat! Because Camels concentrate their body fat into humps, heat-trapping insulation throughout the rest of the body is at a minimum. Also, sweat evaporation takes place at their skin rather than the surface of their coat. 

Efficiently cooling the body without the loss of water that occurs with perspiration. A camel's hump holds energy rich fat that its body will use when there is no vegetation around to eat. This rather complex process is called fatty acid oxidation. In essence, the camel's body will extract fat from its hump to create fuel and water is produced as a byproduct. A camel can lose over 30% of it's body water without any ill side effects, where other mammals will die at a 15% loss!

The iris of a camel's eye contains a unique structure called the umbraculum which is designed to protect sensitive retinas from the extreme glare of desert lighting. A double row of interlocking eyelashes keeps out or clears away sand, as does their inner eyelid. Those thick lashes are excellent at assisting in glare protection while still allowing for clear vision. 

Their valve-like nostrils are lined with hairs that help to keep out irritating sand, and like much of the camel's body they are designed to help retain the maximum amount of body moisture. Even the shape of their blood cells is designed to aid them in the extreme arid conditions of the deserts where they live! The oval shape of their red blood cells facilitates their flow when experiencing dehydration, and helps then to drink large amounts of water without suffering from water intoxication. 

Camels also have water storage chambers in their first stomach, and zoologists have discovered that within ten minutes of drinking gallons of water, their stomach is empty! A camel can drink up to 27 gallons of water in only ten minutes, and it's body will immediately course that life-giving liquid to cells throughout it's body. 

Compared to the camel, all other mammals can only take in a small amount of water at any one time without over-saturating their cells and either harming or killing themselves! It is not known at this time if their uniquely oval blood cell structure is further insurance against bursting when so much water is consumed at one time.

Like the Elephant, the Camel's feet are uniquely designed for their environment. They have broad "elastic" pads with 2 fingernail-like toenails at the front of the pads. This structure allows them to stay on top of and keep better footing in shifting sands. Their kidneys and intestines are more efficient at retaining water. Similar to the Giraffe's specialized tongue, their thick prehensile lips allow them to eat plants too well protected for other species, like the thorny Acacia and moisture rich Cacti. Even more amazing, this Creature Teacher also has the ability to release high doses of Endorphins into it's system when pushed into high activity, creating a sort of runner's high!

Cultures like the Bedouins and Somalis have a long history with this wise and ready Teacher, where respect moves in both directions. There are over 40 Somali words for camel! Camels have provided not only transportation and food for such cultures in conditions that would kill other Teachers. They have also provided us with a unique example of how to transcend mere survival and actually thrive despite trials and harsh conditions.

As a Teacher, the Camel assures us that there will always be tough times where our resources, skills, general well-being and resolve will be stretched to or even beyond their limits. Camel teaches us to prepare for the worst, to conserve energy and resources for those lean times, and to meet trials with good cheer. 

Dromedaries are more likely to spit their thick repugnant cud at others in a fit of nerves or aggression, where as Bactrians seem to resort to this expression of displeasure only when they feel threatened or abused. Despite an earned reputation for crankiness and stubbornness, Camels do also have an aura of service around them too. 

Sometimes a willingness to sacrifice for or bend energies towards supporting others is what is needed to survive. Camel asks us to be aware that others are meeting their own trials on their personal pilgrimage, and therefore we should conserve as much as possible for the betterment of all. This four-legged earthy Creature also asks that we pay particular attention to the health of our Water, the life-giving liquid which all living things on Earth need to survive.

While attitude and obstinacy can have their useful place in moderation, the balanced Camel knows that the truest way to overcome the most difficult of trials is to carry within you an Oasis of optimism, tranquility and beauty that will not only sustain you in times of need, but replenish yourself and those around you throughout your journey. Camel asks us to recognize and utilize the unique gifts we have each been given; to revel in our strengths but temper our view with humility. How does the Camel appear in your life?

"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus

Be like a camel -- carrying sweets but dining on thorns. 
Indian Proverb

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

Keywords: Transportation, Journeying/Pilgrimage, Pathfinding/Guiding, Conservation (especially Water), Survival, Optimism, Storing Energy, Replenishment
Associated With: Overcoming trials, Healing, Gods of domesticated animals and cattle like Andjety, Hathor, Brighid, or Aine. Story of the Weeping Camel, and The Camel with Wrinkled Knees.
Potential Balancing Energies: Plants like Cacti, grasses, saltbushes or trees like acacia. Other animals like lions, giraffes, primates, honey badger, gazelles, hyenas, lizards and snakes. Birds like vultures, hawks, cattle birds, or ostriches. Insects like wasps, flies or fleas.


  1. Replies
    1. Congrats Robin Smith for naming this Teacher! :o) Well spotted, Dearheart!

  2. Thank you so much, Audrey! Very glad to know you enjoyed and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to tell me so :o) ~ wishing you laughter