I met a woman from Mill Valley, California last night online as part of a course I’m taking called Live the Sacred Blessings of the Women Mystics and Goddesses. After the teaching portion of the class, we were put into breakout rooms on Zoom. (seems to be a big part of my life now) As we were ending the session, she mentioned that she needed to go because at 8:00 it was time to go outside her door and howl. Taken aback, I said, “Did you say howl?” ‘
“Yes,” she said. “The whole valley does it at 8:00. It just seems the time in our world to howl. Howl for anger, frustration, joy, connection, grief, or whatever comes up. We just go out and howl.”
I’ve been wanting to write something about this time in the life of the world right now as the pandemic has rearranged our routines, our assumptions, our awareness of mortality. But it seems so MUCH is being written and said. Yet this is what I want to put out into the world and put into my life. I just want to HOWL right now. I want to howl that people are dying alone; I want to howl that my fellow sojourners on this planet are without work. I want to howl that my best friend has metastatic cancer and the chemo isn’t working but I can’t sit by her bedside; I want to howl that my mom broke her hip and is confused with dementia and I can’t fly to be with her or enter the locked down rehab facility; I want to howl that my sister has pneumonia at a time this is more than dangerous for her to leave home; I want to howl that I have to check myself all the time when I see another person first as a possible carrier of a disease instead of a human being; I want to howl when I can’t see my grandkids because their mom works in a medical clinic. I want to howl at all that we just don’t know yet about this virus or how we should adequately respond.
And then…. I want to howl at the full knowing of how precious my family and friends are to me especially NOW when I can’t hug them and go to them. I want to howl at the beauty of the moon and all it teaches about light the darkness. I want to howl at the great space that has opened in my heart as I have this time to meditate and inquire and write and just be. I want to howl at the pussy willows just beginning to bud and the way my labyrinth is slowly appearing in my yard as the snow melts. I want to howl that I never felt so close to the chickadees in my bird feeder and how they too have never flown so close to me and landed by my chair. I want to howl at the mountains draped in white and the way Eagle River flows clear in the spring as the ice hangs on a foot thick on the banks.
I want to howl at being a human being that can live a life so rich and full of potential and that a tiny tiny virus can kill me. Tonight and every night at 8:00, I’m going to. I am going to howl in my valley.
I listen to see if you will howl too. Join the wolf pack.