Today I found myself thinking about a tenacious little coyote who wandered into my line of sight a few years ago. I was horse sitting a friend’s herd and was relaxing in the backyard one late summer afternoon with the dogs and a cool drink, facing the back pasture, watching the horses lazily graze.
I became aware of an odd-looking figure working its way slowly, very slowly, across the pasture, moving in a halting way that I couldn’t make sense of. I got up and walked to the edge of the yard to see the creature more clearly. Finally it moved close enough that I could understand what I was looking at: a small coyote carrying a carcass of something as large as herself. She was holding it by the neck, its body stretched between her legs and halfway under her belly. She (I assumed she was a she given her small size) was entirely focused on her task; the fact that her load was impossibly large, impossibly heavy, did not deter her at all. She was radiant with energy—head erect, ears up, tail up—and while her pace was achingly slow, she never stopped to put down her load. She moved with a purpose and dignity that fully captured my heart.
Laughing, I couldn’t help comparing myself to her. If that had been me, lugging a weight as heavy as myself on a hot summer afternoon, you can bet I wouldn’t have been perky and positive. I’d most likely have been cursing a blue streak and lamenting the difficulty of my path.
Maybe I thought of her again today because she offers a lesson. Times are tough. We’re told they may get worse before they get better. The media seem consumed with their pulsing drumbeat of doom. We are told to be anxious, stressed, afraid, told that our futures are uncertain. I prefer the message of that brave coyote, slow but steady, focused on her task, unconcerned about its magnitude, confident in her success, joyfully alive.
Until next month . . .
*This Column originally appeared in From The Horse’s Mouth in April, 2009.
© 2009 by Pamela Sourelis