You just know.
Most of us have met dogs
that we think look like a wild one:
a coyote, a fox, or a wolf.
Sometimes they get named
in accordance with their wild cousins.
And perhaps, we wonder,
if we saw them in the woods on their own,
might we mistake them for their namesake?
Truth is, when you see a wild canine,
there is no doubt.
It’s not just how they move
or what they look like.
There is a visceral knowing
that we are in the presence of wildness.
Like the fox who ran through my neighbor’s yard
at dusk yesterday.
In looking out to see what my dog’s fuss was about,
I saw her:
thick rust/brown coat, with a white belly
the unmistakable tail and sharp whiskered face.
And above all, the response in my body
that told me this was fox, not domestic.
Once in a while, there is a similar response
in meeting or seeing a person
who is comfortable and attuned
to their own wildness.
What a gift it is to be in their presence.
These delightful two-leggeds
who’ve learned to tuck their bushy tails quietly away.
Who walk among us
with a wink and a nod.
Revealing their wild nature
even as they move through the world.
It is a gift we can reciprocate
as we share our own wild spirits.
Most especially in unexpected places
like boardrooms or council meetings.
Like classrooms or warehouses.
In this world that can feel so divided
there is a powerful call to wild souls everywhere.
To step toward that which makes you whole
and to share it, crazy as it may seem,
with a world hungry for your truth.
This is not without risk.
But some of us will see and celebrate the wildness in you.
Because we will just know.