My daughter asked me if I ever pray to God. She’s been on a religious bent lately, and I’m encouraging her to study as many religions and philosophies as she can handle — Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Edgar Cayce, nature, science fiction, or some amalgam thereof.
I explained that yes, I do pray, but not in church crammed next to goody-goody hypocrites and fart-sniffing Sunday assholes who feel a need to pass judgment on God’s behalf (as if He needed their assistance). It isn’t possible to pray within the confines of an idiot mob, I try to explain. The sheep that merely does what it is told is no closer to God than an old smelly sock. I encouraged her to make up her own mind about things. Test out her own philosophies and world views. See where it takes her. Adjust if necessary. Adjustment is usually necessary.
I explain to the kid that I pray every time I take the dogs for their daily walk. There is no better place to meet God than outdoors, out amongst nature, amongst the trees beneath a wide open sky.
I make no grand pronouncements, nothing too profound. I keep my prayers simple. I usually begin with “Oh Heavenly Father….”
“… teach me patience.”
“…show me peace, love, and understanding.”
Simple, direct. Something I will will repeat continously, much like a mantra, for a portion of my stroll with the dogs. Today was no different. I stood before a patch of trees. It was so calm and quiet. Dogs quietly sniffing around. I felt a peace that I had not felt in some months. I felt at ease. I looked up into the green leaves reflecting afternoon sunlight and prayed. “Oh Heavenly Father…show me a sign…”
Were things going to get better? Were we headed in the right direction? I believed it to be so but wanted some reassurance. I stood for a few moments. “Show me a sign…”
Sunlight reflecting off leaves slightly rustling in a warm afternoon breeze. Birds chirping and moving amongst the branches.
“Show me a sign…”
I turned to continue and there in the path in front of us sat a coyote. It watched us, perhaps with bemused curiosity.
I on the other hand felt panic and began making low growling monkey noises and rattling my keychain in hopes of scaring it off. I jogged in the opposite direction with the dogs, then broke into a full sprint.
For years I’ve been taking the dogs for walks through this area, in all seasons. This was the first time we’ve ever spotted a coyote.
Why now does Coyote choose to show itself? And strangely, after I had just asked God, the Universe, to show me some kind of sign.
I took it as such.
After bundling the dogs back into the truck, I drove slowly to the rear of the buildings that back up against the little wooded area where Coyote appeared. Sure enough, there it was was sniffing around some wooden benches. It bolted into the trees as soon as it saw my truck heading its way.
Yep, just another Coyote. My spirit animal.