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The Woodpecker

I have a park nearby with a river that goes through the outskirts of town. I enjoy taking a walk and getting caught up on reading on a hot summer’s day. The trees and river provide shade and a welcomed coolness. Sometimes soft breezes fool around with the leaves, and it’s pleasant. Mallard ducks are plentiful and usually take their naps in the afternoon on the riverbanks nestling on cool green grasses. Ducks’ quiet and still, river meandering from east to west creates the possibility for daydreaming.

Yesterday while at the park, I heard the loud trill of a piliated woodpecker. She flew right by me and up into an oak tree. She didn’t stay there long and continued to call out as she flew down the river. Loud, the sound we often hear in western themed movies cannot be missed. Her red cap, a bold and vibrant color, catches more than the eye. Red captures us for a moment and suggests the sensual earthiness in nature, the vivacity of colors distinct from the greens of trees and the blue skies or the greys and browns of tree trunks.

The pileated woodpecker was endangered and is returning to our forests. As I mentioned in previous posts, not every critter that crosses our path has a personal message. In my experience, our gut will tell us if they are bearers of messages. Or we can enjoy them with no expectations.

The pileated woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in our forests. They are basically a black bird with a red cap with white on each side of its head. Each of these colors can be significant when looking at the pileated woodpecker as a dream symbol.

They are known as drummers, and the drum in traditional Native American cosmology is thought to represent the earth, her heartbeat. In fact, the heartbeat is often used in ceremonies or gatherings. They are often considered weather prophets signaling the coming of storms. Last night we had a thunderstorm with very strong winds that dumped a lot of rain.

What else could this particular woodpecker mean to you? They dig under tree bark to look for food. And take turns incubating their young. Black and white suggest seeing things in black and white. Red is often associated with the root chakra. They fly in an up-and-down motion. Could it mean we could look at our rhythms and habits more closely? Also, they have large and powerful heads. What could that mean to you for your question or thoughts today? What are you analyzing? What needs more analysis?

These are a few of the questions I asked myself yesterday because seeing a pileated woodpecker is not a common occurrence. By giving some thought to the nature, color, and habitats of a particular critter holds mystery and magic for me. I hope they do for you too.

Sweet dreaming. Judith



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