I remember the first time I saw donkeys dyed to look like zebras. For a long time, Zonkey was my image of persona. 

Why did we give Donkey fake stripes? Was it because we domesticated the spunk out of Wild Burro? All too frequently we, too, look for something we’ve lost in ourselves. Or perhaps we pillage resources until True Self, like Mother Earth, says, Enough!

Then circumstances sequester us, so we might find Burro’s spirit, Donkey’s willingness to take responsibility and Zebra’s stunning contrast to standardization. Afterward, we are able to generously give, stand our ground or realize that we are so depleted that self-care is the very best we have to offer.

Current events always welcome us back home to wholeness. Sometimes nature assists us better than other people. Nature knows our Burro spirit, while often, people have only seen Zonkey.

Grassy fields and desert sunsets wait to hold us like a father’s arms welcoming his prodigal son. Rain purifies our intentions just as a brokenhearted mother’s tears cleanse our wounds. Ah, the sweet smell after clouds have emptied themselves on us. One whiff and lost dreams flood our memories.

Slowly, we revive appreciation for our blessings: Earth’s abundance, fulfilling relationships and purposeful work. Eventually, we care less about dividing lines, because we have faced greater fears.

We prayed that we would alter our ways, and then wondered why we had to pay such a high price. Learning how to live together became less challenging after focusing over how to prevent death.

At a point, overburdening Donkey broke Burro’s wild spirit, so we looked for something else to satisfy our need for excitement. In realizing that pretentious stripes could not satisfy us, we finally turned to Zebra and revived extravagance in the most ordinary things. 

Staying true to purpose, is what some people mistakenly call Donkey’s stubbornness. As we learn to appreciate both exotic stripes and steady solids, we are able to reconnect to Sacred within and each other.

Sacred Ruminations*

Wild Burro, Donkey or Zebra: How does each ring true in you?