The wind was traveling south as it picked up the sound of the coyote’s howl. It was an impulsive howl. The coyote twisted her body up towards the moon with a look of bewilderment on her face. “What is it?,” she thought. "What is bringing this feeling to me?" There was confusion in her voice, her gait was sluggish and the moon that usually inspired her set her in a spotlight of doubt. She couldn’t figure it out. Her pups were all healthy and well, she had food to eat, water to drink, and her journey of life seemed to be going just fine. After a short wander and a few sniffs at the red earth, she circled a familiar spot and lay down for the night.
The next morning, out of the northern blue dawn emerged the buffalo. Awakening from a restless night, the coyote rose, saw the buffalo and felt a surge of instant relief. “The buffalo always has the answer,” she thought. She was hoping he could offer some insight into her feelings of dissonance and disdain. “What was it?” again she thought. She just couldn’t figure it out. “Buffalo!” panted the coyote, “I was wondering if you could help me. I am all out of sorts, I don’t know why, and it’s driving me crazy. Is everything ok on the plain? Have you heard any news of trouble? My heart tells me that something is off.” The buffalo looked at the coyote with sincere concern and chose his words carefully because he too felt unsettled but did not know why. “Well,” he said, “Everything seems to be fine. No real news to report. According to regular patterns, the rains should be coming, the land continues to bare fruit, and the seasons are right on schedule.” The coyote started pacing slowly as if trying to summon some sort of answer to her queried feelings. Then she stopped. She looked intently at the buffalo. As she tilted her head she said, “you feel it too, don’t you? I see it in your eyes. Buffalo, you can also tell that there is something unusual happening, can’t you?” The buffalo lifted his head, pulled his shoulders back a bit in a nod and hesitantly agreed with the coyote. The buffalo is the mentor of the land. He is supposed to offer wisdom. He shares peace and logic. He becomes quite stressed when he is unable to embody his given role. He did, however, know that something was amiss.
After some thought, the buffalo looked at the coyote and said, “I’ll tell you what…if anyone will know what’s wrong, it will be the bear. We must go and see her to find out.” The coyote agreed with the buffalo as they began their journey westward to see the bear. The two travelled the perimeter of the plain. They followed the river that hurried and gurgled along at a lively pace. They truly did live in a beautiful place. Snow capped mountains and crested buttes painted their backdrop as birds and butterflies danced around their heads. They enjoyed their travels and their immediate surrounding, but still they felt something greater than themselves happening. They continued onward and upward toward the bear’s domain. As night fell, they felt the wind blow. It was as if it blew right into their soul. The coyote said that it was like the wind inside of them was the same as the wind outside of them, like a never-ending circle of breath. This wind settled their spirits some, but they agreed to continue on. Feeling a bit fragmented, they looked forward to meeting up with the bear. “The bear is extremely in touch with the Earth and she should hopefully be able to make sense of the situation,” said the buffalo. The coyote widened her eyes with hope and agreed. As she looked up, she saw the stars brighter than she had ever seen before, so bright that she felt that she could see her own reflection in the sky. This again gave her peace. A little bit farther to go, and they would be seeing the bear by morning.
“This is it. We are here,” said the buffalo. “I recognize this smooth grey rock and that tree with the knotted roots…Hello bear!” chimed the coyote and the buffalo. “Are you here? Are you well? We have come to see you all the way from the prairie through the plains for some insight and advice.” The bear turned the corner and greeted her visitors with a great big smile. She stood up, threw his hands back and said “Well hello dear friends. How wonderful to see you. What brings you to the forest?” The bear settled in immediately, ready to listen, but didn’t appear concerned or worried herself. The coyote began, “Well, bear, everything is seemingly fine but the buffalo and I just have a funny feeling. I can’t describe it. It’s not really bad. I just feel like something is…happening, or is about to happen, but I don’t know what. Can you help us figure it out?” The bear tapped her foot on a rock while she took a couple of deep breaths and gazed up at the sky. She decided that she needed to spend some time with the buffalo and the coyote out by the cliffs. The bear wanted to connect with their energy so they all headed out to mingle with their world in a wide-open space overlooking the rushing river waterfall. The bear asked the two a few questions and began to realize that they were all sharing a universal feeling but in different ways. “I think I know what’s going on,” said the bear. “What?!” barked the coyote.
“My dear,” said the bear, “there is nothing to worry about. Although I cannot tell you exactly what is going on, I can tell you that there are some natural shifts happening in the universe but they will not bring any harm. My intuition tells me this. The buffalo looked at the bear and something just then dawned on him. He realized that the only real reason he began to feel unsure was because of the coyote’s strong concern. The more he thought about it, the more he understood where his sense of doubt was coming from. He was bothered because he didn’t have any solid answers for the coyote. He wasn’t even actually worried about anything in specific.
“I still don’t get it!” sighed the coyote. “What could it be?”
Just then, the eagle came screaming out of the eastern corner of the sky, swooped his giant wings down, and skidded to a screeching halt. Totally out of breath and looking a bit frazzled he stopped to gulp some air then darted his head back and forth from the bear, to the buffalo, to the coyote, and back again, several times. “What is up my dear friends!! Wow am I glad to see you all here together. It’s like a reunion of awesomeness or something. I feel complete and whole and ready to celebrate the renewal of life. I feel a rebirth coming on…like from dullness and darkness into sweet white light. We should totally party.” The buffalo, the coyote, and the bear all stared at the eagle in silence until the coyote finally said, “What are you talking about? We came here to find answers. We all feel something strange is happening, but we don’t know what. We came here together today to feel for a universal message. And now you’re here and you want to…party?”
The eagle threw his head back, and with a giant grin he said, “You want answers? You got ‘em. I know exactly what’s going on. I cannot believe that each and all of you have not heard about it yet. Well, I guess you just don’t get around like I do. I’ve been to like four mountain tops just today, and it’s not even noon.” The eagle got lost in his thoughts for a few moments, then, “Eagle!” bellowed the buffalo, “please, would you mind telling us what in the world is going on?” The eagle stopped himself, “Of course, sorry, so exciting…ready? Here it is. There is going to be a real live lunar eclipse tonight. Yes, you heard correct. A lunar eclipse! How cool is that? That’s why you’re feeling funny, but it’s all good. It’s just your trusty animal instincts kicking in. That is all. Nothing to worry about, just some cosmic wonder to remind us all of the big picture out there. Anyway. There is sooo much going on tonight. I don’t even know which way to fly. Ok, what do you think? There’s a super traditional sweat lodge ceremony in the East, a massive late night river float to the south, an epic Iowaska gathering in the North, and a black sky meditation to the West. This is huge. HUGE. What do you think I should do guys? Guys?
As the eagle pondered his celebratory options, the coyote, the buffalo, and the bear began their walk back with gentle smiles on their faces. They walked in silence, yet they walked in sync. They felt their connection grow stronger and wider. They could see themselves connected to the Sun, the Moon, the Sky and the Stars. They took gentle breaths as to feel the wind dance within them. They felt this wind brush upon their soul. They were all part of the Four Directions. They existed with harmony in their hearts, and they embraced their given place on Earth. Embodied, engaged, and empowered in each other’s presence, together, they roamed back to their home.
-Christine Imfeld, 2011