I like to say I inherited my mom's reclusiveness. And maybe I did. But the most honest reason I can give for moving out of the city is that I have the ability, for better or worse, to feel things extra hard. I also must admit that sometimes I superimpose forgive and forget. And that means in my human relationships I haven't always been good about drawing boundaries. I sometimes get tricked and taken advantage of. Truth.
One of my favorite parts about this life-in-nature gig is that, in lieu of interaction with homosapiens, I get to practice love with insects and birds and animals. This morning I had a tip-toeing close encounter with a fatty spider on the toilet, and Toby and I walked with a pale-colored coyote for a couple of miles on our evening hike. I'm not lying. After about 15 minutes of her tracking us from a distance and slowly making her way to the trail side, I pulled out my iPhizzle to catch a video because I recognized that the whole scene might be hard to believe. You can check out the highlight reel in IG. She's real pretty.
Coyotes have been showing up in my life for as long as I can remember, and she is the third I have seen in as many weeks. But my recently glorified busy-ness kept me from asking what it meant until today. Duh. I could not have ignored her - homegirl was definitely telling me something. She was gentle, she stayed with us for a long time, she played for a bit in the grass while we ate almonds, and she beckoned for my attention.
Totem medicine tells us that coyote heeds a warning. That there are tricksters about. And that we best be aware of our principles and clear of our intentions. Yeah, okay. Heard.
There are tricksters in my life, y'all. There always have been. Shit, the world is filled with them. And most of the time I know who they are, but I have been historically afraid of calling them out. Not that they are always "bad" or even need to be valued in any sort of way. Sometimes they're funny and damaged and really just trying to get by. But on the other side of that coin are the folks who dupe us while knowing and the back-biting feeling that entails. Those experiences can be filled with dishonesty and complicity and even betrayal.
Most of the time, having one pulled over on you just plain hurts.
And yet, Coyote medicine also teaches us to be proactive, to act on intuition and to build endurance. A coyote will spend days herding prey back to its pack for the kill - wearing it down step by step, predicting its next move, and staying vigilant to the moment of death. These are skills of integrity, and if we cultivate them we are much less likely to get played.
Coyote medicine also teaches us to play and celebrate alongside our work. I like this aspect best. She teaches us to have a sense of humor and to not take it all so seriously. Damn it! We can get played and still play, can't we? I think so. And we can also be cunning and charismatic without hurting one another - enjoying ourselves as we make things happen.
We can be diligent AND joyful. Intent AND wacky. Productive AND silly. Successful without cheating others. We totally can.
It's actually not terribly difficult to goof about, and be in integrity, and get shit done. All at the same time. Coyote says so. And I think I'm meant to follow her.