I crossed paths with a coyote today while driving a private road in the country. It skuttled away, carrying some prize in its jaws, turned to see if I had a mind to steal it, or perhaps make a meal of its own flesh. I slowed, came to a stop and we both looked each other over for a moment. I had never been so close to a wild coyote before and was thrilled to see one twenty yards away. Its coat was full and healthy, gleaming in the spring sun. It carried itself with intelligence as it watched for my movements while continuing its meal. I won't say anything as cliche'd as "it was a mystical moment". The coyote was only concerned for its lunch and hide. I only wanted to observe wildlife. That was our moment. Then, feeling as if my presence and staring eyes were causing stress, I went on my way, leaving the coyote to go on hers.
What could be considered an unusual experience, is seeing something transformative within the mundane. For me, that transformation is nature chewing into the bindings that constrict awareness, bindings we often coil around us, limiting our contact with even a single blade of grass.
I have aquaintences in Europe who have commented lately on how the skies are quite enough to hear only birds in them, and are thankful to Icelands' volcano for the experience, a likely once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wonder what that would be like, to hear only birds, see only clouds and no contrails criss-crossing the sky like a toddler's scrawlings.
It's easy to get distracted with our gadgets, calendars full as ripe pumpkins, full with the mundane. Now, I do like some of our modern bells and whistles like indoor plumbing, auto-matic drip coffee makers, even this computer. What I feel we forget about is, to sometimes dig around in dirt, plant flowers or seeds that will become your meals, watch a coyote that hasn't forgotten where it is on the earth's skin.
We Can Talk to Foxes Only At Dawn
Their eyes still heavy with the moon,
they will see us as a dream
lost from its sleeper
wandering among whispers and shades,
begging secrets from the living
for paths known only to those who
make their way through undergrowth and shadows,
who know our hiding places
when we have forgotten
the round of our own flesh.