Sunday, December 4, 2016


A coyote met me in the yard this morning. He crossed in front of me with only a glance in my direction and what I took to be a sardonic grin as he slipped behind the curtain of creosote that is the border of wild desert. His was not the leash of the pet, nor the deference of domestication. He had no jacket to keep off the chill of December. He colored outside the lines of highways and borders of behavior. How he lived immersed in a city I have no idea. The sight of him stirred something sleeping in me. That part wanted to drop my book bag and follow him into the scrub of survival in the desert. I envied how he could live by only the gifts of claw, fur, and wit. He, I felt, was closer to God than I: no barriers of comfort or complacency. No matter how ravenous the hungry ghost of want, it will never taste freedom the way a lean coyote does. Coyote descendants will still be wandering here long after the towers of pride have collapsed in ruin. The thought gave me comfort as I dialed up the heat in a car running on the rot of trees long dead, of life on its way to the next big thing.

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