Archive - Sep 4, 2008

The Coyote

Yesterday was my wife Kim’s birthday. It was also the ninth anniversary of her mother’s death. I ran out to pick up something nice for breakfast for Kim on her birthday, and as I returned, I saw a large coyote in our neighbor’s driveway. They coyote came over and stuck his nose down our driveway, and later stopped by to check out Kim.

Kim’s mother had fought a long battle with cancer, and I started dating Kim during the final days of that battle. On Kim’s birthday, nine years ago, Kim and I went out to dinner with Kim’s father, her brother, and her sister-in-law. The family had gathered to move Kim’s mother from the hospital to hospice.

After the dinner was done and the gifts exchanged, including a gift that Kim’s mother somehow managed to order from her sick bed, Kim’s father received a message on his beeper. He called the doctor and found that his wife had died.

Within a year, Kim’s maternal grandmother died as well. She had been in great health, but she failed to recover from a minor heart attack. She died of a broken heart after her eldest daughter died of cancer.

Kim and I got married a year later, on her mother’s birthday, and our daughter Fiona was baptized the following year on our anniversary and her grandmother-in-heaven’s birthday.

Often, when Kim and I were out and about, we would see two morning doves beside the road, or crossing our paths. Morning doves frequently habituated Kim’s maternal grandmother’s house and Kim often commented about the doves being messengers from her mother and grandmother in heaven.

So, as I was greeted by the coyote yesterday morning, I thought about how their habitat has expanded greatly since Europeans first came to America, and about how they are becoming more common to Connecticut. I worried about the safety of our cat and our aging dog. Yet I also wondered about the coyote as totem.

The coyote is a great symbol in Native American lore. He is the trickster. Wolf’s Moon’s Spirit of Coyote writes,

The Trickster, always carries with him, lessons that are crucial to growth and change, yet the lesson he brings is usually one that is contained within a grand joke that Coyote plays upon the unwitting human. As such, though he is a Teacher Spirit, his lessons are taught via the vehicle of humor and wisdom found within folly.

Is The Trickster coming into our lives, to teach us some great lesson? The struggles of the past few years have been wearying and I hope that no new tricks our coming our way. Yet I do hope that the struggles of the past few years can be made sense of and integrated into some great story of growth and change.

Later, Wolf’s Moon writes,

Only through exploring many different avenues will the Coyote eventually find the Path that his/her heart resonates to, and along the way a variety of interests will capture their restless curiosity. Above all however, the Coyote individual needs to explore and investigate as theirs is an active and inquisitive mind. Hence, fields in which they are challenged intellectually or spiritually will resonate the strongest with them as well as a field in which they can share their insights and knowledge gained with Others.

Some professions which the combination of qualities mentioned above might be found are in the communications field such as writing or journalism, the educational field or any Role in which they are able to transmit their philosophy, ideas and ideals to their fellow Two-Leggeds.

So, is the coyote a totem? A messenger? Is there some sort of great lesson accompanied with humor and wisdom within folly? Is there a clue to help me find my path, a path that captures my restless curiosity? Does it have something to do with writing, journalism, education, or even blogging?

Or, was the coyote I saw yesterday morning a simple reminder of the wild animals that we share our world with, even in suburbia? Either way, it has caused me to reflect a little more on my life and the lives of those I touch. Hopefully, this post will cause others to reflect on their lives as well. What animal totems, messengers, or other things cause you to reflect on your life?

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