During the wee hours of this morning I was up and about, as usual, this time taking the dogs out for a nighttime walk around the backyard. In the midst of trying to avoid the barely visible spiderwebs I heard something I hadn't heard in so many months I'd almost completely forgotten about it: coyotes. We used to have two distinct groups of coyotes near our house and I used to hear them every night, sometimes multiple times. But, for some unknown reason, this year I hadn't heard them once until about 3 this morning. It almost brought tears to my eyes.
The past year has been really dark for my family and I and, as anyone knows, it's hard to feel inspired by anything when one's personal life is a raging mess. With so little green in my life this year and my home life going to hell I've been worried that I'd lost my sense of wonder and appreciation for the wild things of the world. But last night when I heard the coyotes yipping and singing I felt a tiny ray of hope. Not a sense of relief necessarily, but a glimmer of possibility. Don't get me wrong, things around home still suck shit, but "I seemed to see ahead somehow" to paraphrase Sam in Lord of the Rings. I felt that if I can hear the coyotes from time to time and make love to the night sky with my eyes I'll surely be okay.
As I lay my head down after our walk I was further serenaded by a 10-minute owl song, which I absolutely adore. In fact, owl song is one of my favorites of the bird songs to be had around here. (The other is the song of the also nocturnal whip-poor-will; if you've never heard it you have suffered severe misfortune and I pity you.) It was a beautiful lullaby and further encouraged me to dream that the autumn season will bring some positive changes. The gods and the wild things of the night have given me hope.