Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.

Edmond Abbey

Nature.  We need you and you need us.  We can help each other–we do help each other.  We also have the ability to hurt each other.  Seems like we are doing that right now. There’s a different way, a more natural way- to be. Let’s get back in balance, for that’s both our true nature.

When wolves howl,
and the Sawtooths shake..

You stop and listen. It’s only natural.

***

“So many people glorify and romanticize “busy.”  I do not.  I value purpose.  I believe in resting in reason and moving in passion.  If you’re always busy/moving, you will miss important details.  I like the mountain.  Still, but when it moves, land shifts and earth quakes. “

Joseph Cook

For the better part of the last two weeks we’ve not been able to get outside. It’s unnatural. I feel disconnected; I need air and water, ironically the two things your body craves with Corona.  It makes me realize how much I need nature– for my mind, body and spirit.  We are profoundly interdependent with the elements.

Yesterday I lay in bed texting with friends, commiserating quarantine, laughing over silly things, for that’s all you can really do when things are otherwise out of control.  Sidelined by a virus, whatever that tangibly is, which supposedly came from a bat–a single bat who bit a single snake. God only knows… Was killed by a hunter who brought it to a butcher who handed it to a happy housewife who served it in soup to her hungry husband who slurped it up thankfully.  And from there a kiss goodbye, a handshake at work, a touch of the eye then the bicycle handle, the cab door, to the airport. A little germ in a little snake on the other side of the world caught some serious wind and found itself in both my eyes, and all of our lives. Pretty hard to grasp. Impossible to control.

So we do what we can, we listen, slow down, follow protocol, rest, and resign to that which is out of our control. And we connect, care, support and laugh a little. Which is what I was doing yesterday when the rumbling started, and then the bed started shaking back and forth, and then holding on, holding breath, and the realization that our house on the hillside is being rocked by a very unlikely and fairly significant earthquake.

“What the hell’s going on?”  “Holy shit earthquake!” “Get in the doorway” “you ok?” and then later, “Is the world ending?” which one of my children has announced to be the case. (Corona, quakes; there’s been alotta Xbox interruption.) 

I wonder, though.  Sure seems like something’s trying to get our attention.

Last night, as I lay in bed, and feeling a few aftershocks, I heard howling above me.  It wasn’t an elk bugling, not deep enough for that, and not the  high pitched shrieking of a coyote kill celebration. The dogs ran to the windows as if they were being called out to join. Wolves howling, checking in with one another, from various distances. “What in the world is going on? ”  I wondered, again. “And is everything ok?”

I have to imagine they–all of them; the dogs, the wolves, the people next door — were wondering the same. 

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;

You have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

excerpt from “Desiderata”, Max Ehrmann

***

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


– Wendell Berry

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Jen Pen

    Thanks again for your amazing posts.
    I’m starting to realize they will end.
    😩
    Continued hugs and prayers.
    I forwarded a bunch of Chris Mann’s videos to others. He’s awesome. Thanks for the “introduction” to him. ❤️

  2. CBY

    Great blog today E!

  3. Lisa W

    This is one powerful sentence: “A little germ in a little snake on the other side of the world caught some serious wind and found itself in both my eyes, and all of our lives”. Love your writing. You didn’t realize how important your 40 days of lent would be. 🙂 I look forward to it everyday, thank you 🙂

  4. laura morawitz

    Thanks! Again. Agree with Lisa on the amazingness of that one particular sentence!

  5. jen dies

    Did you know that people all over town are opening up their doors and “howling” their gratitude for health care workers each night at 8:00? This may be what you heard. Apparently it is really loud and beautiful to hear in Hailey. Be well and we will listen for your howls tonight….

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