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Monday, February 7, 2011

Coyotes and the Balance of Work and Play...


Coyotes play a role in my life and as I sit here amongst the frozen landscape that surrounds me in every direction, listening to them yip, from the warmth and safety of my home, I wonder…
I am an urbanite transplanted in this rural paradise. I say paradise because I have been enraptured by my surroundings since the moment we moved here and I never tire of the view through the clear and uncluttered windows that expose me to life outside these walls.
When we first moved here, fourteen years ago, I was terrified to be left alone in the silence of my own being, with only the coyotes to be heard. They began yipping everyday at dusk, and I had no idea how far away they were or if they too, were alone. When they showed up in my dreams, I paid close attention wondering what it all meant, if indeed it meant anything at all.
The first coyote dream I remember having, occurred during a time when I was working the equivalent of one and half full-time jobs and my husband was working what might be considered - three. We had two young children and I felt as if I wasn’t doing anything well and that Brent was not only absent physically, but also emotionally. I was making lots of decisions and seemed unable to rely on my Intuition. I dreamt that a coyote came into our front yard while the kids and I were on the verandah. It stood still and stared at us. My son clung to me for safety, my youngest, my girly, stepped off of the verandah walked calmly toward the coyote, with utmost trust. My son and I did nothing to stop her.  We just stood there and watched. My heart raced and yet I was silent. The coyote, with a sly grin, slowly turned and walked beside Jillian, both of them moving away from us. Jillian never did look back. This dream has haunted me.
A couple of years later, when I had left all of my teaching and was gratefully working from home and Brent had dropped two of his jobs, and we were – connecting… I reevaluated my life, wondering if I had made the “right” decisions over the past two years. Once again a coyote appeared in a dream. It seemed to be the same coyote that had taken my daughter, only this time she and Max remained with me on the verandah and Brent ran around in front of us to protect us and shot the coyote. As the animal collapsed, dying, it looked up at me as if to say goodbye and I sobbed grateful tears that were also filled with remorse. 
Presently, the coyotes in our area seem to be plentiful. Our two dogs bark throughout the night just to keep them at bay. However, with there being so many of them, we see them close by often. The other evening Jillian and I were returning from town when down the road about 2 km away, a young coyote danced and frolicked right in the middle of the road. It seemed to be chasing its tail and with no care that our vehicle was massive compared to him, refused to get out of our way. As I slowed the vehicle down, I was captivated by the animal’s playfulness or was it playfulness? Was it possible that the coyote had mange? I voiced these expressions but stopped quickly when I realized that Jillian was terrified.
The very next day, I was traveling the opposite direction but also about 2 km away, when a coyote appeared in the ditch beside my vehicle and began to run. It traveled alongside of me at the same speed and I felt like we were one…
This morning I turned to a book that I love to peruse, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. What he states is this: Coyotes “remind us not to become too serious [but also] that anything is possible.”
And so I wonder, am I complicating life? Am I balancing play with work? I invite you to join me in this discussion surrounding the mysteries of an awakened and enraptured life…
...Ellyn