I drove into the Lamar Valley at sunset. The final sun rays made the orange bison calves vibrantly red. It was quiet in the valley, not silent as there is always something to hear if you are willing to listen. Most people had left the valley in search of food and cell service.
I slowed down to hear the rhythmic and soothing sound of a cow bison grazing on a new bunch of grass and purple larkspur.
My mind began to wander, away from the man-made concept of time and from society and it's crushing ‘standards.’ I wondered what had been in the minds of the first humans when they crested the hill and looked down on a plain full of large majestic creatures. Was there wonderment? Was there bewilderment? I will never know.
I call myself native, a native to Montana and the magic it holds and bestows on us. Yet my family's mere six generations in this state seems minuscule next to this bison and her dark all knowing eyes.
I watch her as she grazes, with her few days old calf sleeping in a bed of purple larkspur and almost fuchsia shooting stars. My mind raced as I thought of how humans have felt the need to play God in regards to who is ‘worthy’ to stay on this Earth. Though I feel the pain of the injustice of it all, I am still thankful that these bison were deemed worthy. Yet I cannot help but think of all the little ones that have been wiped from the plains, forests and waters.
I wish I could have known those who made the first decisions in what is now called "Wildlife Management." I feel compelled to understand their thoughts and the thoughts of these creatures whose lives I may have to fight for. I pull away from my trance and slowly realize that I am human and don’t have the same ‘rules’ as the bison.
As I drove away from the rays of pink that the sun sent over the wide valley, I can’t help but think of those who do not speak our language. They say that to preserve wildlife you have to be the voice for the voiceless. Yet I find that idea to not tell the entire truth. I believe that we are merely translators of a language that is far greater than humans can comprehend. Wildlife have voices, we are just too impatient to listen to what they are saying.
This is a world that is bigger than us, bigger than our constraints of time and society. Bigger than our egos, differences, hate, and any evil that holds onto us. This is a world that offers us love and understanding, we just have to be brave enough to reach for it and not fear the barriers that divide us from the wildlife. This will help us lead a wild life.