June, and I work in the garden or the outside tables as much as possible, countering my indoors job and the pandemic years that have thrown me (and humankind) off-balance. Despite the unusual cold and wind, I often read outside in the evenings while the neighbors’ boys bike on our dead-end road, calling out my name.
Just beyond the pin cherry trees, the foxes come and go, reddish-brown, their front legs black. They’re not disturbed in the least by the man who walks his leashed dog in the cemetery, both man and dog head down, preoccupied with what, I have no guess. Across the milkweed and lupine, the foxes and I stare at each other, before I silently head my way, or they head theirs.
They go about their lives of hunting and playing, their ears and eyes alert to the world around them. I go about my human life of language and thought — a life that sometimes seems fixated on lists and transactions. For these moments, coming and going like the sun through clouds, this relationship feels like one of the realest in my life, devoid of our human tendencies towards deceit and self-absorption. I’m not about to become a fox, but I might become a slightly better human for these true friends.
The gods, we are taught, created humankind in their own image. Everyone has an urge to create. Its expression may flow through many channels: through writing, art, or music or through the inventiveness of work or in any number of ways unique to all of us, whether it be cooking, gardening, or the art of social discourse. The point is to honor the urge. To do so is healing for ourselves and for others; not to do so deadens our bodies and our spirits.~ Dr. Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts