The Miracle of Wildness


IMG_7523The ravens and jays are particularly raucous today, I notice, as I make my way up a steep trail by my home. I wonder if it is due to the recent rains, some kind of noisy celebration at the return of worms and green grass. But the cries sound more urgent than that. And no surprise. I lift my gaze and stare into the bright amber eyes of a coyote.

The coyote is at most fifty feet away. The birds in the bay trees keep up their squawking, but the coyote and I remain still, staring at each other. His ears, the only thing moving, cock one way and then another, as though straining to hear me above the noise of the chattering corvids. Sunlight leaps through the tree branches lighting the rim of his golden fur and making of it a halo.

If the holiday season begs a miracle, this is it for me.

What more is there to praise or to pray to? What more is there to want? In this moment, I am sung alive by the energy between this wolf-like dog and me: his loping gait, his long snout, his bushy tail-- even the way the birds react to our encounter, speaking of it in loud and insistent cries. Nature is my manger, the place where I am reborn, again and again.

Tonight, if I am fortunate, I will hear him caroling outside my window with the rest of the choir. He will raise his voice in a wild song that for millennia has reminded us of the marvel of this flesh and blood world.