Yinney had slept long and deep through the night, but as the sun rose, so did his “Sacred Sloth Morning Song”.
Rising morning sun, I greet you. Singing morning birds, I thank you. Gentle cooling breeze, I welcome you. Great and mighty tree, I hang from you.
Predators may lurk jungle below…
And so his morning worship could be heard for the first time in this area of jungle, and beside this lagoon. Yinney was preparing for a special meditation this day. It had been a thing in his mind for a long time. Sloths are prone to meditate. It is part of their God-given nature. But he understood that worship and prayer were not the same as meditation.
Sometimes prayer can be very meditative, but prayer and worship are still directed towards the Great Creator, the All-Father, whereas meditation is not necessarily so. Sloths are very deep thinkers. To go within oneself and pursue a thought, and perhaps many before finishing, as one thought may lead to another. This was his way, and Lu-Lu had given him much to think about.
Had Yinney been a person instead of a sloth, people would have told him, “Yinney, you think too much. Don’t take life so seriously. Just have fun! Party till you’re done!”
But Yinney did take life seriously, very seriously. Life was a great and precious treasure, not to be wasted, or aborted. People would have said he was born with an old soul, and perhaps so, he had been this way from very young. But in the animal kingdom, it was expected for a sloth to be of an old soul nature.
In the animal kingdom there were a few other creatures that Yinney considered to be spiritual teachers. The slow moving turtle, who traveled light as he carried his home on his back, and lived very simple. The eagle, who lived in high places and understood the ways of the wind, to soar more and flap less. The spider who with great patience wove an invisible web of faith and waited for the wind to carry to her everything she needed. The deer, who could leap with such a grace, and disappear, become invisible. The owl who who who who could see in the dark and fly with such silence. These five, and of the ocean creatures he did not know.
All morning he had been motionless in his sacred tree as he watched animals coming and going to the lagoon. This was a watering hole. He saw no fear from the animals towards the water itself. No sign of piranhas, large snakes, things of that nature which might be living in the water.
A sloth has a max speed of 15 feet per minute in a tree, and 9 feet on ground, but in water they can travel 44 feet per minute! They are strong swimmers with those long front arms. But even more impressive, they can slow their body metabolism to one-third of normal and hold their breath underwater for as long as forty minutes! If a sloth can be motionless in a tree, they can be just as much so sitting on the bottom of a lake. Yenny wanted to meditate while sitting motionless at the bottom of this lagoon. It had been a thing in his mind for a long time, almost as if the water called to him. Might this be a special body of water next to his sacred 7th Day Tree? Might it be magical?
Yinney had made up his mind. It was a risk he had to take. Several hours had passed as he prayed and studied the water. He would do this thing. The best limb to enter he had already picked out. It took an hour of slow sloth ninja moving, but he finally had himself hanging just above the reflecting pool. He saw himself hanging there. His moving had been so slow, perhaps not another critter around had even noticed this fur-ball making his way towards the water.
His eyes stared deep into the lagoon, the water so clear he could easily see into it. Little fish swam about, but he saw nothing of danger… and in he slid.
He needed to go deeper. The Amazon was very hot and the cool water refreshing. His long arms beginning their steady slow stroke. He loved the water and now he lived right next to it. How had he been so blessed?
On his first trip he did not want to go any farther than necessary. He would need something to cling to at the bottom. Spotting a large tree sunk to the lagoon floor, he decided this would be the place. It was time to focus. It was time to float, catch his breath, slow his heart rate, take a deep breath, and then… Yinney went under.
<This continuing story of “Yinney the Sloth” is the property of Don Allen, alias: Grandpa White Feather.)