Gratitude
Contributor
In search of food we came to Topanga

We went down through the canyon though the wild sumac

Invisible spirits, unseen in the moonlight



My sister licked her lips and smiled at the field mouse

Only when we returned to the warm den of our mother

Did our lives ever feel safe…



Blessed be the rippling water down in the creek
Blessed be the opossums in the hollowed out oak
Blessed be the dog food the old woman leaves out.


It's been three years since the family dog was put to sleep  in early March, his ashes brought back home to rest on the hearth. It surprised her how heavy the maple box felt in her hands as she carried him up her redwood stairs. For a year,  she woke
, every night,  just before dawn, to fill Max’s bowl with the dog food he’d left behind. She put it out for the two thin young coyotes that lurked in the oak circle behind the blue sea of ceanothus.

“Nothing lasts,” Their mother  told the sister and brother when they came back to her bed. “It is an ancient dream to be immortal. The sun burns like our hearts, but we cannot always feel it; the darkness comes and goes. When the winds blow, the old leaves  are carried away and new buds begin to grow. The spirits speak of the panorama of these mountains - their eras of rebirths - of how they were once covered with oceans and ice. My dear children, come curl up warm with me, close your eyes and rest, and enjoy how full your bellies feel.“

There are no words the Fairy knows that can describe, even to the weary coyote mother, the old woman‘s face: “Rejoice, for you‘ve been touched by human love and kindness.”

For a wild creature to be loved by a human is the irony of history. But the grief of love  in the arch of the old woman’s back, Fairy will try to remember. The woman had risen from her sleep when she heard their yaps, fed them, and retreated, offering them room to eat without fear.

Even humans have souls, Fairy reminds herself as she dances on a raindrop on a bed of silver thyme.

Let's be friends

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