Dee’s experiences from the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center ~ Divide, Colorado ~ May 14, 2011
WOW and amazing—I found myself saying these words over and over as we wandered through the Wolf Sanctuary. As we walked through the sanctuary being introduced to all of the wolves, the Timberlines, the gorgeous Arctics, the hesitant Mexican, the coyotes, the foxes, they were all very aware we had come into their space. As we walked through their territory there was a blended sense of amazement, respect, fear and excitement.
When we were invited into their space, there was time allotted for them to check us out-literally from head to toe. I thought about this and play. Play can happen on neutral areas – common space like play grounds, but mostly and I believe profoundly when we are inviting others into our more private spaces or they into ours. I have heard it said the difference between fear and excitement is the absence of breath. And I believe breath is present when we feel safe.
Establishing trust and connection is a quality that is necessary for true play to happen. When we meet others to play how do you realize or check another out to know, are you safe? Are you predator or prey? Or are you a playmate? Are you a threat? Do I run? Do I fight to protect? Or are you a playmate? Breathing…