“Coyotes Howling, 1:47”
By James Anthony Curtis
In native lore the coyote is the familiar spirit of the trickster, the one who comes as a sign of both trouble and good fortune, bringing transformational energy often in the form of laughter. Ciara’s parents have been visiting us for the past week in Arizona, and as they explore our little part of the world we are staying at, the topic of different sounds we often hear at night comes up during the day conversation. Almost every night this week the fresh air has brought with it various sounds to our ears: donkeys’ hee haws in the distance, birds squawking at sunset, and of course, one of my favorites, usually started by a dog barking somewhere in the campground — one, then two, three or more coyotes chiming in off in the distance.
And almost every morning this week Ive remarked, “Did you guys hear the coyotes last night?”
Which in turn I’m usually met with by her dad, “Are you sure? Coyotes? Did you really hear that here? That would be cool to hear!”
Although those late night howls I hear tend to make me out to have the appearance of a crazy person or a liar, once again tonight as I got up to use the bathroom, sure enough, one, then two, three or more began, until the chorus had dogs all around the camp barking in envy. I found myself smiling as I looked up at the stars, remarking to myself, “Come on you guys, cant you prove to them I’m not just saying this?!?”
But then, that’s the nature of the coyote, the trickster, and as I pondered the time we’ve spent with her parents, reflecting on the visit, I felt the coyotes energy in laughter, warm moments of bonding, good natured sharing, good fortune in transformational energy as I feel a bit closer in connection with them.
Frequently this relationship I’m in has been challenging, not because Ciara and I don’t get along —we have a great connection, but from the judgements that come from within me: those thoughts about our age difference, and how peers, parents, and what others might feel or think about it. Those thoughts alone have brought both great internal strife, but yet great strength in resolve for the heart. What I mean is, regardless of how things turn out between us, both her and I have grown tremendously through our odd choices, standing in each truth, and meeting difficult circumstances either that we have created, or exist in our mind, with a better love of ourselves, friends, and family. Kind of like, coyote saying, “Doesn’t matter if they hear me, do you hear me?”
So as I write this late night, at 1:47 in the morning, “Yes Coyote, I hear you. Thank you — thank you for reassuring us in times where we struggle, that there is also good fortune, ‘God fortune,’ in our paths.” And even though at times we may feel less than, disconnected, and doubting our choices, its not about the choices, but about how we love ourselves and others through them — that the sometimes oppressing weights that we may feel, are not here to harm us, but bring the transformational energy we have asked for.
So may coyote bless each of us as needed when we experience doubt, lack, or difficult circumstances — as both messengers and divine expressers, appearing in the times and places that they are most fulfilling to us, coming for the benefit of love, sharing their lives with us, both in inward and outward, as we walk the pilgrim road.
May it be so, so it is.