Anthony Fauci told us today, “Help is on the way,” in the form of efficacious vaccines that should be widely available by the spring. In the meantime, we all need to find those moments that feed and restore our souls. It was good of Sue to push herself out of her comfort zone and share some of those moments with us.
Restore our souls
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
After all the negativity of these past four years, I wondered if I could write about only joy for a moment. I need to challenge myself. Get out of my comfort zone, so to speak.
This past week, I looked up the driveway across the street just in time to spot our resident coyote. He kept going, but seeing a creature like that in the city always takes my breath away. Then, not two days later, we took a walk at Franklin Reservoir, just a stone’s throw from our home. It is a small park with a small lake, an even smaller pond, and lots of wildlife. During the spring there is a creek, too, but it is almost completely dry now. There are some deciduous trees providing a bit of fall color, and carpets of leaves along the paths to crunch. Yes, in Los Angeles we do have fall. It comes late and with a treasure hunt. The spectacular fall colors of the northeast are here, too, but one must be willing to look for that beauty—though isn’t that true about life in general? After seventy-three years in the same city, I have learned which streets to drive down for my color fix. Like so much else in life, there are always a few bits of unexpected glory that pop up every now and again.
With the pandemic, there seem to be more two-legged creatures taking advantage of this absolute gem in the middle of a huge megalopolis. Not so many people to feel unsafe, and everyone wearing the required mask. There were dog walkers with their four-legged charges, old folks strolling, joggers, and bikers. Someone warned us of a coyote up ahead. We turned just in time to see a big healthy one meandering up the hill. Not ten minutes later, we saw another, quite a bit closer, who turned to glare, or maybe smile, at us as well. Three coyotes, the trickster in Native American culture, in one week!
“Coyote is a very popular figure, playing his role of scheming, self-seeking trickster, stirring up trouble, testing and violating moral precepts. He provides a vicarious escape from social restrictions—that is, until his usual come-uppance for such outrageous misbehavior reinforces them.”Coyote (legend) – The Oregon Encyclopedia
A powerful omen! Finding joy in the glint of the coyote’s eye.
At this time of year, there were lots of ducks in the pond: mallards, pintails and wood ducks. They, too, like the warmer Southern Californian weather. We saw grebes and turtles and a few koi that are thriving in the pond. Not sure how they arrived there, but sure love seeing the foot-long fish wiggle around in the water! Not to mention the glee they elicit from the tiny tot crouched by the edge—not more than a little ball of a child sitting there giggling at the fish and turtles and ducks.
There is much to appreciate in our world if we only give ourselves a moment to step out of our daily lives. It is the littlest of things that can restore our souls. For me, a call or text from my son, a murmur with my granddaughter telling me about her dolls’ latest exploits. A hummingbird at the feeder, or the hoot of the owl, and, last but not least, remembering the legend of the trickster coyote and his always getting his due.
We need a shot of joy every single day in the midst of all the scary news that keeps pushing into our awareness! Thank you, Sue, for reminding us of the lovely bits of nature we might notice.
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