I'm a city girl, granted, a small town city girl, but I grew up up right off North Main Street in my hometown. I'm from sidewalks and streetlights, a huge library and art museum almost within walking distance, the night sky with less stars and more sirens and trains in the not too far distance.
As a child, climbing into the arms of my beloved huge, old dogwood in my backyard was my escape. The earth and the sky called to me with the promise of being rooted while simultaneously offering me a view of freedom from those tip-top brances. The wild was buried deep within me, heartbeat to heartbeat, waiting to emerge.
Fast forward to 2012 and the phone call, a torrent of words rushed out of me, and she said, "wow. freedom is very important to you. The phrase you repeatedly said was, "I want the freedom to" Yes. Freedom is very important to me.
A few months later, another phrase was on repeat.
The beast was calling.
It was never a bird behind those bars. It was always a wolf. I don't really know why. I know next to nothing about wolves but when I thought of releasing the spirit, MY spirit, I was releasing the she-wolf. It became a symbol of releasing myself to return to myself, to root into the very spirit of myself, the primal, the deep knowing, the instinct. The wolf was she and she is me.
Wolves are almost like mythical creatures to me and hold a sacred space in my soul. I don't collect wolf figurines or surround myself with images of wolves easily because it is the spirit of the wolf, something that cannot be seen that is most important to me, that is the connection for me.
There's more to this story. Now that you know all of that about me, imagine my reaction when my husband recently asked if I wanted to go to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge to the Red Wolf Howl. Yeah ... it was something like this:
This time tomorrow, I will be on my way to the wolves. On Friday night, I'm going to howl with the wolves, to find my song, to listen for theirs. Call and response. A prayer.