Friday, May 7, 2010

From the Breaks ...

I live on the breaks between the Grande Ronde river and Minam-Wallowa river.

I had planned on writing about the seasonal birds that have returned to this place I love: mourning dove, house wren, white-crowned sparrow. I wanted to write about the wildflowers blooming – balsamroot, larkspur – and those getting ready to bloom – camas, Wyethia.

And then it snowed. About 5 – 7 inches. I was going to write about the snow, about the seed-eaters mobbing my one sunflower seed bird feeder (including the redwings that come up from the pond when there are no insects), about the icy petals of flowers and my worries about the bluebirds, meadowlarks, and other birds that rely on insects and can’t switch, like the blackbirds do, to seeds.

But today there is the news from the Zumwalt – a calf killed by wolves. My thoughts are on wolves – not wildflowers, not white-crowned sparrows. The photo on my

screensaver is the wolf B-300. The wolf in the photo is staring at the photographer. I stare back. Wolves to me are the essence of wild, and a reminder to me of my own wildness, my mammalian heritage. This photo is also a warning to me of how much myth, mythology, fantasy, projection and rumor surround wolves.

If there is a place for wildness, if there is a place for me, on this planet, how do I make room for both, and live consciously and conscientiously as a citizen of this “zoopolis”? How do we make room for all of us at the table?

Danae Yurgel

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