The middle path ✵
This story has three parts.
One is a story about the dogs I had and have in life.
Two is a dream I had recently.
And three is a Cherokee story that will link the two and is related to how I experience life.
Growing up I desperately wanted a dog. As a family we had a small Papillion dog given to us by my grandfather. She was a dog that was mostly content to be on a lap or in front of your feet where ever you would decide to stand.
I wanted a big dog, one I could run, play, go on adventures with.
After much persuading and a summer spent working to earn the money to pay for my dog, my parents were happy to let me have a dog on the condition that I would look after it. A big black Bouvier, or Flamish cattle dog came to live with us, and I trained her from a very young age. She was the most beautiful and lovely dog and lived many healthy happy years.
Recently my own family decided we would let a dog in our lives. Of course I had a quick vision of a large black female dog but it turned out my kids had their own.
One wanted a Labrador, the other one was firm on a German Shepherd. For a long time nothing happened until we saw an advertisement on Trademe from a breeder who had young White Shepherd Labrador pups. We went to have a look, and were approved of by the parents of the pup. We also met the uncles who were huge and which should have turned us away instantly. But no, we were sold and the pup arrived at our home a few weeks later. As there had been only male pups left, we got a big white male dog..
Quite the opposite of my vision..
Over the months it became clear that our dog choose my partner as his master. He loves us, but just loves him that little bit extra. When he is in the room he often moves to sit as his feet and stays there. It is rather cute. My partner never had a dog before, so it is clear to me that this is to be his dog experience.
Now for the part of my dream.
In the dream I am walking our white dog. He resembles a white wolf. At some stage on our walk he disappears in the bush. A little later he comes out again with a black wolf at this side, she resembles the black wolf and is related to my dog growing up.
Both dogs come to me and I can put them both on the lead. We are heading up hill and I step on a little cart and the dogs pull me up the hill in perfect unison.
And now the third part of this story. This part is a Cherokee story – first told to me by Franchelle Ofsoské-Wyber at a Medicine Woman gathering.
A Cherokee grandfather told his grandson, “A fight is going on inside me, a terrible fight between two wolves.
The black wolf is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego.”
The white wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The grandson thought about this for a moment and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win, grandfather?”
His answers was: “If I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves.
But if I acknowledge him, we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-will and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognise what is in the best interest of all. The white wolf needs the black wolf at his side to uphold balance and peace inside and out.
When there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything.”
Now, there is a different version of the story above in which the grandfather tells his grandson to only feed the white wolf and it goes on to explain about how the white wolf will grow stronger and stronger and eventually defeats the black wolf.
As a girl growing up I felt this was the common worldview of how one should behave. Only later I learned that it is necessary to be in touch and learn from all my feelings, not just the ‘white’ ones.
When you are in tune with your black and white wolf, they work for you and with you, as so beautifully shown in my dream.
Some days the white wolf might be more present, and other days can be black wolf days. On those black wolf days things may have to be disintegrated, or torn down, so one can have a next day of restoring order.
Working with the white wolf, we work with the powers of light. Working with the black wolf, we work with the powers of shadow. Light nourishes us, and shadow propels us forward.
The two dogs together relate to me. The peace within we all need to find by acknowledging our black and white way of operating. Through this inner peace within we can then hear our own true guidance.
This is what the Cherokee call the middle path that I choose to walk consciously.