An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of November 24, 2013
Issued from the Frio Canyon Nature Education Center in the valley of the Dry Frio River
in northern Uvalde County, southwestern Texas, on the
southern border of the Edwards Plateau, USA

COYOTES CALLING

Nowadays when I jog before dawn the Moon prettily lights up the landscape. Even when there's no Moon and a heavy overcast, it's light enough to see the road, so with moonlight everything is etched in sharp detail. What a pleasure to breath deeply the moist, chill air, pat, pat, pat, my shoes on the pavement.

Often on these moonlit, pre-dawn runs one, two or more packs of Coyotes yelp along the route, and some sound close by. I say yelping instead of howling because their call isn't the stereotypical yaooooooooooo of cowboy movies, with the lone Coyote atop a hill with his head thrown back, silhouetted by the Moon. These are crazy sounding yelps and yeeps, sounds you'd expect from a bunch of drunken teenagers playing as if they were Coyotes.

I mentioned the coyotes to my friend Bob in northern California who replied, "They have been known to take pet dogs right off the leash when people are taking Fluffy out for a walk, and have attacked small children. Los Angeles has a huge coyote problem and San Francisco is working its way up to one." Sometimes when the packs are real close, the hairs on the back of my neck stiffen, despite being convinced that they won't attack me.

In fact, the main feeling I get from Coyotes along the pre-dawn road is something approaching awe. It has to do with a natural paradigm at the heart of my spiritual belief system.

For, I visualize the Universe as blossoming from the Big Bang, first all the atoms, molecules and subatomic particles over time gathering into myriad galaxies, then life arising at least in our galaxy -- and surely throughout our galaxy, and all the billions of other galaxies, too -- and eventually out of life arose mentality, all the insightfulness, feelings, inspirations of which thinking beings are capable.

So, from the Big Bang arose an unthinkable large, bouquet-like, perpetually evolving Creation, and it's a Creation evolving toward higher and higher states of sophistication, ever more diversity, ever more interrelatedness of parts, ever more exquisite thinking, feeling and refined sense of esthetics.

Seeing this, it appears that the Universe evolves toward feelings, and along the road on my pre-dawn, moonlit jogs, Coyotes express some part of that Universal feeling with more passion and fluency than I'm accustomed to in everyday life. Their yelping in the moonlight is nothing less than a physical manifestation of part of the very spirit of the evolving, blossoming Universe.

But, of course, you can say that about everything. Everything manifests the Evolving Spirit. And all us thinking, feeling, sentient beings, it seems to me as I run in the moonlight, are like nerve endings of the Creator of all this. So, it's my job to be as alert, aware and receptive as possible, and being thrilled by the calls of coyotes at dawn is a good way to start any day. Facebook Icon.