Footprints in deep snow,
Surrounded by woods,
The moon bright overhead,
Lights the wet white carpet.
There are wolves in the woods.
They make no sound,
Yet they are there in the dark,
Watching between the trees.
Toes on the knife-edge precipice,
Wind gusting at your back.
Skidding just beyond control,
Useless steering wheel.
Wolves in the woods on a frozen winter night.
In the moment, we rarely get to choose. It happens; we are in it. We respond beyond thinking from that deep place. It is like a predilection: programing running just beneath the surface, installed by someone else, by the past.
A loved one revealed something recently that drove down into that place with a long, cold blade so swift there was no time to think, to reflect, to choose. Thought whirled around the numb bubble that encased it, believing it was OK, that the wound was not as serious as it might have been.
When the numbness dissolved, the body responded with an overwhelming mood that reflected the weather outside: cold, gray, raining, inescapable.
Close the door. Bolt and seal it.
Hungry wolves cannot enter where there are no windows.
I lay in that dark place with the sensations – racing heart, buzzing nerves, restless hyper-awareness – trying to feel my way through the panic and confusion. Alone with the wolves.
Two sides showed themselves: the fear of letting go of a belief no longer tenable, and the excitement of letting go of a belief no longer tenable. The body did not know the difference. It was up to me – to my Soul, not my helpless mind/body – as to which interpretation I would choose to attach.
The programming can be overwritten, the curse removed, the imprint erased. Step by step, choice by choice.
Run quickly out of the woods,
or walk in full awareness
into the maelstrom that Love has prepared.
I may survive into a new level of Joy, or I may be torn into ten thousand pieces that I must gather, heal, and re-member myself again. I am not helpless. An act of Courage is the purest expression of Freedom.
A warm, excited heartbeat,
Aware, yet unafraid moves steadily;
A brother wolf who walks upright,
Just passing through.
Gerry Starnes, 2009
(Original artwork by Korbin Vinson. Used by permission.)