Our bat friend has gone. This little fellow (for some reason I always imagine him a male bat, but it could be a mother bat, according to some research I've been doing) is here every summer for six or eight weeks, and then one night he's just not here anymore.
Every evening, he heralds dusk and the setting of the sun. I enjoy listening for him and then checking the clock ... a bit later each night until the summer solstice, and then a bit earlier each night until his departure.
He makes the strangest screechy call, and an occasional otherworldly sound. (That first year, I thought it was a sick deer in the hills behind our house.) We still haven't figured out what kind of bat he is.
Just as Bat disappeared for us, he showed up in my sister's life at 4 in the morning, winging about her bedroom. That was quite the experience for her!
When I have an intimate encounter with an animal friend, I like to check out the Medicine Cards of Jamie Sams and David Carson. Bat, it turns out, often symbolizes rebirth in the Native American tradition.
This is timely symbolism for me as my stepmother, Jan, recently returned to the earth (death being the beginning of rebirth), and because we all need a reminder that it's time to let go of old habits and become reborn into a new form of civilization — one that is based on ethical economics, renewable energy technologies, and people everywhere caring about the future of the children of all species.
Here's to my stepmom, to bats, to our bat (until next summer), and to all who hold the vision of a reborn new future.