I was in Gambia about ten years ago with the British Army Ornithological Society, who are serving and ex-serving members of the British Army. We were carrying out a water bird survey from a riverboat from the estuary near to the capital all the way up to Senegal. After five days on the river we pulled into a camp site for a twenty-four hour rest period. Soon after going ashore my friends were eager to go straight out to see as many birds as possible. I declined to go, as spirit asked me to spend time with our Expectation Leader. I was told that my friends and I would not see any birds that evening, however in the morning I would be in for a treat. It transpired that my chat with our Expectation Leader was exactly what she needed; she said she was missing the spiritual connection, whist living in Africa. My friends returned disappointed having not seen any birds. Later that night we were very excited as we received information on where we could find a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, its roost was in a Giant Plum Tree.
That night in my dreams I was given a vision of a large wood, at this time I did not realise what relevance this would have. As I arrived for breakfast, my friends (apart from one) were all rushing out the door to go and find the eagle owl and appeared quite unwilling to wait until we had eaten. John and I sat down to eat and after breakfast, we went to find the owl, on route we bumped into our friends who having not found the eagle owl were now heading off to find Sand Grouse. They asked if we were coming. I said I would meet up with them later. I felt inside that I really just wanted to connect with the trail, with the earth and enjoy what nature had to offer as a whole.
Soon, I saw in the distance the large woodland, the one that I had seen in my dream. As we were heading towards the woodland we were about to pass a tree on my left, spirit told me the owl was in this tree. As I approached with caution the owl who was indeed in this tree, took flight from cover. I could not contain my excitement as I watched it fly towards the large woodland. It was then that I realised that this was The Giant Plum Tree. It is interesting to note that we all had the perception that the Plum Tree would be very large in size, while in fact it was only about 20 meters in height, perhaps this is why the other guys missed the owl not realising the Giant Plum Tree was not such a Giant after all.
John and I soon relocated the owl and we enjoyed magnificent views of it before setting off to let the others know where it was. As I spoke with John on the way back, I became very aware of my thoughts, I was aware that I could easily ride on my ego. I joked out load, saying to John how it would be fun to hold this one over the guys, some of the thoughts in my head were “guys, you know you wanted to pay someone to find the owl for you.” “well, I found it!” “It will cost you!” It felt like one up man ship. As we continued talking it seemed with each word and thought these things became less important.
They ran off to locate it, only for one of them to return a short while later asking me to tell him exactly where it was. I eagerly showed everyone where the owl was and it gave me great enjoyment seeing the pleasure they had in seeing the owl.
The joy and the reward was in seeing the owl and being guided by spirit, recognising the information I was given was the truth, being able to tell the difference between my thoughts and spirits, pinning down my ego and doing what was right for the greater good of all.
Later I reflected on the words Eagle Owl and what they meant. Eagle: represents Spirit. Owl: represents Deception. Clearly spirit was involved here, had I completely bought into my ego the deception would have been on myself.
I thank our creator, mother earth, nature and of course the eagle owl for teaching me about myself.