We have just arrived home from a few days in the highlands of Scotland. While we were there, we went up on the mountains to see the Cairngorm Reindeer herd with two of the herders. My goodness what beautiful creatures those reindeer are! I could have stayed with them all day.
These beautiful creatures live in the harshest conditions. We were wrapped in multiple layers of clothes and coats with hats and gloves and still we felt the bite of the wind.
Nature has blessed the reindeer with all they need to survive and thrive in these conditions. Their bodies are incredible. They have two layers of the softest fur which is so insulating they do not even melt the snow when they lay in it for hours at a time. Every part of their bodies – even their noses and their feet – are covered in fur for protection from the cold. As they walk, their hooves splay out to give them a wider surface to walk on the snow with – their own built-in ‘snowshoes’ -, and their back hoof fits perfectly into the hole made by the front hoof when they walk to conserve energy when walking through deep snow. As they walk, they make a clicking noise from a tendon moving behind their hoof. This enables the herd to hear each other in blizzard conditions so the herd can stay together. They really are wonderfully designed!
We visited in the afternoon and fed the reindeer. They happily ate the food – as much as they could get from us, before wandering higher up the mountain to settle down for the night. They seek out the cold naturally.
I experienced a deep feeling of peace and wonder in their presence. They reminded me just how perfectly nature works when we do not interfere with the process.
The reindeer haven’t tried to override the changes and adaptations that nature has gifted them with. They don’t interfere with how their bodies look or work and they live in harmony with their natural habitat and each other.
We often associate reindeer with Christmas time – I know I do! Rudolph and his buddies work tirelessly to pull the sleigh. Now I’m not sure reindeer have adapted yet to flight, but they are pretty remarkable!!
Imagine if we could all accept the gift that nature has given us – a body that adapts to different temperatures by shivering or sweating, a body that tells us when we need more energy so we eat, and a body that lets us know we are full and we can stop eating, a body that naturally breathes faster and heavier when we exercise to provide more oxygen to our muscles……..
We inhabit remarkable bodies which have an innate ‘management system’ which for the main part, needs no interference from our minds, from our intellect. So often we forget this and get over involved with trying to control our bodies. The irony is, when our minds get involved and try to override our innate balancing mechanisms, we suffer. When we ‘think’ our bodies should be a certain way and control them from our minds, we move them away from their natural homeostasis and they must work harder to return to their balanced state.
My Christmas wish for us all is that we bring loving compassion to ourselves, to our bodies, just as they are, in all their glory. Enjoy a safe Christmas, nourished by the love of friends and family and by good food.
With my love and huge thanks for being with me this year on the Well of Being adventure. Sarah xx