An Eye on Wildlife

Wildlife Conservation Society Menu
The Roaring Thunder and the Silent Light

July 2, 2024

The Roaring Thunder and the Silent Light

- as seen by -

Joseph Gazing Wolf Joseph Gazing Wolf

I’ve spent a significant portion of my life following Tatanka Oyate (the Buffalo Nation; Bison bison bison) across the prairie. They have taught me much about how to live this life. I followed them because I could relate to them. Like me, buffalo have experienced this existence’s brightest lights and deepest darkness. People have attempted to eradicate them from the face of the earth and even wipe their memory from the annals of natural history. Others who have lived in a relationship with them have dedicated their lives to restoring them to their homelands. Buffalo have remained steadfast despite fate’s ups and downs because of their keen ability to recognize current circumstances and react accordingly. Their strength, in part, comes from their understanding of fate and acceptance of it, without despair, despondency, or needless violence. When they do react with aggression, it is often in situations where incompetent humans have given them no other choice.

Their silent strength is awe-inspiring. I have been in situations where I am surrounded on all sides by over 3000 buffalo a few feet away from me, and when I closed my eyes, I could hardly tell they were there*. They observe the light and the darkness and embody both. They can be the roaring thunder when it is called for but prefer to remain the silent light breaking through the clouds. In this sense, they practice forms of existential mindfulness that we humans can only aspire to. I often wonder what this life could have been had humans had the ability to live as genuinely as Tatanka.

NOTE*: This is a herd I lived with for many years that would follow me and surround me often; DO NOT approach bison under any circumstances.

Samsung Galaxy s20+

Bullhead, US Map It

Tags: , ,


Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *