The Strange Reoccurrence of Beaver*

*Don’t be naughty! Cheeky monkey.

This is supposed to be Virginia Beach Dollbaby Week, seven days of ocean music and cake, laughter and writing. There is no beach this year, no beach house, no hugs, but we’ve not let that keep us completely apart. Like most of the world, we’re making due with Zoom. Cyber Dollbaby Week isn’t the same, but it’s enough.

Tuesday night was Medicine Card night. My card was Beaver.


The gist of it was, stay the course. Finish the project. Bring the dream to fruition. This, of course, I attributed to Death and the Mason Jar. But…

I’m working diligently. Every day. 10:00-3:00. It’s taking me longer than past manuscripts, but it’s such a conglomeration of all my skills, all my experiences, all my past writing, that it’s taking more out of me, and more out of my brain. Yet Beaver spoke to that part of me feeling like it’s taking way too long, fearing doors closing before this story gets a chance to walk through. But…

I look for connections. Everywhere. I usually notice when they come up, these coincidences that don’t feel like coincidences. As it happens, last week, Frank and I took a drive up Route 7, past the old house on the river, up and up, all the way to Massachusetts. I was amazed by the number of beaver dams I saw along the way. Granted, in the still-wintry landscape, they stood out more, but I noticed them. I pointed them out to Frank, who hadn’t.

Then this week, before Medicine Card night, a sister Dollbaby put up a hilarious video of a woman reading, Barbara’s Beaver Needs a Barber.** And then, a couple of hours later, I pulled Beaver out of all 48 cards in that deck.

I could have let it go there, as an odd but whatever experience. That’s not me. If there’s a connection, what purpose is there in not thinking it through, right? I take Beaver’s point about staying the course, finishing the project, but that was too simple to leave at that. So I did a little more digging, and found a few more messages from Beaver:

  • Seek alternatives to challenges in life.
  •  Refuse to be cornered, trapped, or caught off guard.
  •  Work together. A team effort. Appreciate that the coming together of minds creates a unification that is far more effective than individual efforts.
  •  Family
  •  Strengthen the foundation on which you stand, or build a new one. To continue on old foundations could mean opportunities missed.
  • Beaver is a symbol of never giving up, even going to far as to change its environment to suit its needs, the needs of its family.

Not everything is about my writing, or Chris, even if those are the two places my brain automatically go. While I will finish my project and be true to my dreams for it, I feel like the message here is one I’ve been mulling over since the world changed.

We are in strange times, and it didn’t begin with the pandemic. It won’t end with it either. As Semisonic sang: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” When 2020 rolled in, I had the overwhelming feeling that this was going to be a big year. One of profound changes. Then wildfires blazed in Australia, Impeachment proceedings began, a Democratic lineup more diverse than any we had ever seen before (even if it did boil down to two, older white men, and then one) came about.

And COVID19.

The pandemic has changed the whole world in a very universal way. It’s not something happening to someone else, or somewhere far off in the world. It’s our every day. It’s scary and frustrating. We miss our families, our social lives, our freedom. It’s worse for some than for others, but that’s nothing new. Despite all the ineptitude, the selfish deciding there is an expendable category of humanity, the waste of resources and hoarding and fear, I can’t help feeling this tremendous sense of hope.

Humanity may have screeched to a standstill, but the world hasn’t. She spins. She grows. She fights. And maybe this is what Beaver was trying to get me to see, to act upon. To seek alternatives, strengthen foundations or build new ones. Not just me, but humanity at large. Nature is warning us to knock it the hell off. We need to change this current environment to suit ALL our needs, her included. Every animal, plant, bacteria is connected in ways most never even consider. We are family. Every one of us.  Our planet included.

We can make this change happen, now. We’ve proven we can make the adjustments, see through this lens. We can adapt. Slow down. Do without. There are those rallying to keep everything “normal,” to keep others down, to diminish and dismiss anything not in their ken, but they’re nothing new. They’ve been rallying since the dawn of humanity, through every culture, every era. There have been times those rallying were able to do horrible wrong. Let this not be one of those times. Let it be, finally, the time we come together, really together. Compromise and compassion. Creation and assistance. We must respect and support one another in every way we can. Refuse hate and greed in all its forms, whether it be politically, socially, or environmentally.

We are the many. The loving, the compassionate, the respectful, the giving. I truly believe that. I’ve seen it, over and over, even from those who don’t believe the way I do, in the things I believe in. The fools fighting hardest against reason are loud, but I don’t believe they are the majority. They’re puffer fish, peacocks, cobras spreading their hoods to make us think so. It has worked often enough to make us believe in their power over our own. It’s time we stopped letting that trick work.

So, yeah…I got more from Beaver than, “Finish the damn book.”

Your mileage may vary.



**While this one is hilarious, there is at least one other in the series that crosses the line into bigotry, and I can’t in any conscious recommend them because of that.



Filed under Life's honest moments

6 responses to “The Strange Reoccurrence of Beaver*

  1. Mark Nelson

    Love this. Love you. More of this sort of post should find its way onto social media. I have grown weary of politicians empty rhetoric, the easy theft of emergency funding by corporate autocrats, the long game power moves in what should be a short term crisis, and the persistent stupidity in far too many folks.


  2. Terri-Lynne DeFino

    I love you too, Mark. Keep faith that the ignorant few are indeed few, and the hopeful majority finally pulls aside their curtain.


  3. Lise

    fascinating ! i find signs in the animals around me..but is a different way. When they cross my path(not all the time) and I feel they have a message I check out my book on animal meanings. Well, the robins are so after me! everywhere i go ! last night as i got out of my car one flew above, sat on a branch and yelled at me. He actually sang, but i know he is mad i am not listening. I better get going. Take care ! long distance hugs for now


  4. Elizabeth Young

    I hope you are right but going out into the world yesterday did not boost my confidence. So many people out and about acting like we’re all ‘back to normal’ with little regard for their own safety and clearly less for those around them.
    But, what THEY do is beyond my control. I’ll just have to adjust to do what works for me and my family. Hopefully, survival of the fittest – and in this case, I mean smartest – plays out as Darwin contemplated.
    I love all your words, though, and particularly these, my new mantra: Seek alternatives, strengthen foundations or build new ones.


    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      You’re seeing the willfully ignorant, the cobras puffing. They’re not the many, though they can ruin everything for the rest of us. That’s their power. We have to do all we can to lessen it in any way we can.

      I like that mantra. I’m adopting it myself! Mwah! Stay safe, my love. And don’t let the stupid get you down.


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