January 18th, 2013

The fox – shock, freeze, mobilize, flee

on new years eve, in heavy rain, driving in sussex, we saw a fox, he’d been hit by a car, wet through, alive, unable to move in the gutter of a busy street.

in our headlights i saw the powerful but frightened brightness in it’s eyes, this supreme and sovereign animal was frozen to the spot.

i wondered if it could not mobilize because of it’s injuries.

there was no blood, it’s fur stuck to it’s lithe body.

we pulled over.

i approached the fox, very slowly, inching closer, repeating a soft mantra, that only it and i could hear, ‘it’s ok beauty, it’s ok beauty’, over and over very softly, i fixed eye contact with it, regulated my own breathing, slowed my pace and settled into the space between us.

the noise and movement in the world around us ceased, hung for those few minutes as something primitive breathed the air, a knowing connected our opposing ascendancy of human and wild animal.

fox was paralyzed in shock, something softened, eye to eye contact, rhythmic breathing, reassuring, it moved from the gutter very slowly to the kerb, ‘great’, i said softly, ‘it’s ok beauty’.

now it was out of immediate danger, i moved a little closer to encourage it into a nearby garden.

we were there; synchronized in breath, suspended in stillness, mesmerized in our contact.

suddenly there was a pristine opening, a life-force, an upsurge of energy coursed through it’s limbs, it turned on it’s heel, from heart to hind legs it’s muscles engaged, adrenalin surging and powerfully sprung, it bolted instinctively, driving itself to safety.

wild to witness, i felt the heat and force of life surging through it’s muscle fibres’ as it charged the street and broke off into open countryside.

we were together for just a few minutes, the fox and i, captivated, in knowing, suspended in something other.

a primal experience, being to being.

this was a beautiful demonstration of trauma resolution from shock, to freeze, to mobilization, to restoration.

peter levines trauma model was classically demonstrated by the fox and i was fortuitous enough to witness it.

‘a discharge of traumatic activation and restoration of equilibrium’. (Levine, 2010:92)

sills describes this contact between fox and i as, ‘being to being’ contact, in his book ‘being and becoming’, he writes:

‘the second important axis is an interpersonal one, the being-to-being axis. here interbeing is directly experienced and interpersonal relationships are grounded in mutuality and compassion.’ (Sills, 2009: 7)

in ‘animal magick’ conway describes the fox as shapeshifting, her power cycle is dawn, dusk and night. she has a long positive history of magick and its associated use of camouflage in observing what is happening in the present. (Conway: 1996)

as i breakdown this scene where every detail has significance, it reminds me of how much we miss in life, how much we don’t see.

and how much i learnt from a simple exchange with the magnificent intelligence of nature.