The only place we can possibly be is here, right now. That’s the truth of it. But our true measure is what we do with that place.
With that, there are many paths, many roads, many ways, all about us. There are different approaches in doing every single thing on this earth. A gazillion ways to bake an apple pie. So many different ways to add up to the number eight. There’s 3+5 and 4+4. And on. There’s probably a dozen different ways to spread manure. Some might be better than others, but certainly there are varying, stinky, methods.
I would question the veracity of someone who claims there is only ONE way. In anything.
I would also say this is true in matters of the spirit.
Whenever I hear someone say there is only One Way to salvation, I have to work very hard to keep my jaw from dropping open. I wonder what incredible act of divinity gave them the inside scoop on the workings of the Universe. Perhaps a book that was written a thousand years ago by a bunch of men living in a dark age, writing stories that appropriated power for themselves?
This morning, very early, I was sitting in the quiet, by myself, do some reflective thinking and praying. I asked a question, an important one, and at that singular moment, a pack of coyotes began howling, relentlessly, right outside. The song of their howls, and yips, and quivering voices reached vibrato, before spilling off, and fading away.
It seemed very much like a nudge, to me.
On the surface, most people around here hate coyotes, and take pride in killing them. I’ve seen pictures on Facebook of people holding up a dead coyote like some sort of trophy. But that bothers quite a bit. They are, merely a form of dog, seeking food, because they are hungry. Attacks on people are extremely rare. Someone is more likely to be killed by an errant golfball than to even be bitten by a coyote. But I know that people feel the need to eradicate them.
In any case, to continue. I then looked up the symbology of Coyotes, in some cultures which are different from Preble County World. And there I found that the coyotes symbolize “transformation,” “creation,” “cunning,” and “good fortune.” Most Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest claim that the coyote is their creator. The Plains Indians regard the coyote as a teacher and magician. In all of its roles, it is seen as a benevolent figure who helps to restore balance and order.
So, as you see, there is more than one way here. Coyotes are revered by some people. Depending on our beliefs, we see things in different ways. No better, no worse, just independently different. Yet, at the same time, connected.
And that is our world.
The answers aren’t always clear. In fact, the profound enormity and complexity of our existence in the unending Universe makes it that way.
Today, and every day, I hope all of us can look for the multiple ways available to us, in everything we do. Every minute. There is a choice. And then another.
“It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.”
― Herman Hesse, Siddhartha
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.”
― Ken Levine