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The Art of Living
Christmas Eve morning, my dearest friend, Sir Finlay, joined me on a walk along the nearby trails. It was early, too early for others to be out walking.
We walked crunching through the newly fallen snow. The only tracks laid down before ours were that of a female coyote and several rabbits.
Sir Finlay is an excellent tracker; his senses following the coyote, wanting to break out in a race to find the mysterious lurking creature. Finlay would look back at me every few seconds, his eyes pleading me to remove his leash.
We saw where the female coyote walked and then tracking back again. She headed down to the frozen pond, and back up to the main trail, then down to the rapidly flowing-creek where the Mallards foraged for food. We could see that she stopped at the water’s edge to drink. Then her tracks following the banks of the creek toward a thicket of grasses.
Her medium-sized paws came upon a narrow animal trail, her personal trail, through the thick mass of reeds and tall dry grasses she walked alone; no companion, no mate, or pup. No, she traveled alone in search of food, and walked this route regularly as evidenced by the trampled vegetation she had cleared by walking this way repeatedly for quite some time.
As Finlay and I continued to track her, we saw where the narrow path led in the distance. The wildlife path curved along the creek and then disappeared into the dense vegetation.
We backed up and headed away from the creek back toward the main trail. We wondered where our coyote friend was while we tracked her. Was she watching us, lurking in the dense brush; her keen eyes fixed on us, the intruders of her quiet solitude?
Sir Finlay and I continued our walk along the main trail until we found an opening in the thick vegetation where we found dense grasses underneath an ancient and gigantic Cottonwood tree. The wildlife path exposing her tracks. She must have bedded down underneath the protection of the Cottonwood branches and enormous trunk because we saw where she laid down in her perfectly nestled bed.
These moments that were compiled into an experience created an ethereal Christmas gift. The serenity and primal sensation to walk along trails where only a solitary coyote walked before me is madly gratifying. The pristine fallen snow and the crisp morning air that lent itself to utter silence except for the sound of my footsteps were indeed a gift from Mother Earth, the best possible gift I could ever receive.
Sir Finlay, December 24, 2017.
The Art of Living is ...
Inspiration from nature's beauty, simple living, love, and peace.