“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” ~Albert Einstein
My life is changing again. Our lives are always changing I guess, but on this raft ride of life there are times when we are steering through relatively calm water seemingly in control of our destination, and then there are times when life travels fast, steering is futile, holding on is more prudent. There is no control, but hopefully maybe some mercy.
This summer a coyote kept me company in an otherwise big empty field. The first time I saw him, he was in the tall grass about 50 feet away. My very first thought was of Cory, the boy who lived over the hill, our first friend in the neighborhood, who also shares a great appreciation and passion for all things natural, including these magnificent “song dogs”. When I turned back to work, the coyote tried to sneak up behind me, closing the distance between us by half. When I faced him he didn’t run off, but rather stood there, ears forward, sniffing the air inquisitively. Although I didn’t think he was aggressive, I did chase him off for his own good. Getting close to the wrong human could easily cost him his life, for his own safety I don’t want him to find trust in people. Cory would have been all over this guy, trail camera and camp would be set up, and he would be teasing me about hunting him, making me a coyote skin rug, coyote steaks, knowing that’s exactly what I didn’t want.
Through all of this time working away in this field I was also working on a few contemplation issues needing solutions. The first was realigning my goals to fit my dwindling support staff and the second was working on a name for the farm. The dwindling support staff is a natural dilemma, not insurmountable. The kids don’t want a farm life and without them on board it doesn’t have to be as big. Getting from here to there requires a new strategy and a few left turns I wasn’t counting on, creativity needed. The farm name was hard, names for marketing worth bothered me; Sacala Family Farm, ick. So I decided to name it after the beautiful stream that runs through our property. I imagined Black Creek or Bull Creek Farm, but I couldn’t be so lucky. After much research, I discovered that our stream is called Marshall Brook. Seriously? Marshall Brook Farm. My farm sounds like a pedophile (no offense to any real Marshall Brooks out there). Back to the drawing board. All the while this coyote, a naturally very stealthy animal kept showing up, wanting my attention. On the 4th of July, my friend, Cory’s mom, stopped over for a visit. After catching up for a bit, she told me that she saw a big beautiful coyote over in my field on Cory’s birthday. Everything about this coyote made me think of Cory and him showing himself to her on that day has very special significance. February 15th is both the anniversary of Cory’s birth and his death. I decided from that day forward to pay closer attention to my odd visitor and thoughts of him floated into the farm name.
I first thought of Lonesome Coyote, but that wasn’t accurate. He was alone, but it was a natural state for him. There was nothing unhappy about my guy. Then, with the help of friends, came Friendly Coyote. Much more accurate, but I still felt like it was marketing driven and a little insincere. Lone Coyote is what he is, it’s also an accurate description of my changing life. Natural, perfect, appropriate state of being for this time period.
My coyote is a regular visitor, I miss him when he doesn’t come, he skips the really hot days. He kept me hopefully scanning the horizon until he showed, and it was comforting when he sat or laid in the grass to watch me work. I’ve seen him come in and out of the wetlands often, perhaps to hunt, maybe he lives in there. Coyotes have multiple songs, his long, low, solitary howl at sunset announcing his awakening is a far different call than the high-pitched yelps he and his buddies fill the night with. These yelps indicate an exuberance in their hunt that can really give you the creeps. When I hear those hunting yelps nearly every night, it’s hard to imagine my coyote relishing in the terror of another animal like that. Eat it yes, but do you have to carry on so? It’s unnerving to the rest of us trying to enjoy not getting hunted tonight.
There is special significance of a coyote visitor or totem. It is said when a coyote comes to you expect Murphy’s Law to enter you life with a vengeance. It’s all about learning around the coyote, about Karma or our own teachings. His purpose is to teach the balance of wisdom and folly, to teach us to laugh at the ironies of life and to learn from our mistakes. Their energy is tied to simplicity and trust, as in childlike wisdom. They are believed to be God’s dogs among native american tribes, the ultimate creature of unconditional devotion and companionship. The coyote’s howl touches our soul, connecting us to our true primal nature. A coyote totem, like any totem, is a gift, but this one is not an easy one to accept, not that you really get a choice. It’s not that his presence creates all of this chaos, he is here to help, his presence explains and makes usable sense out of it all. The chaos is not a choice, it comes without invitation and it comes with a purpose. I am learning, but to be honest, not laughing yet, but it will come. The coyote in my life says it is so.