the way of sustenance

After some time I begin again. I ask please to help me find sustenance.

Again the wolf comes quickly. Dark gray and shaggy, long legged and lean. Her name is Uru. It means Hungry.

She leads the way and I follow. I have to run to keep up. We go up the dirt track a while, then cut through the trees. She takes me over the top of the ridge and down the other side through places I’ve never been before, some deep tangled places, some places where the green is full of light and the trunks of the trees stand like temple pillars. Once or twice I stop to bask and she has to circle back for me.

The way gets steep and scrabbly, and then we reach the valley floor and the bank of the cold clear river. We step out of the wood into the open. There is a road through the valley, but it is completely blocked with boulders that have come down off the mountain. I climb to the top of the rock wall to look down the road both ways. I have a choice to make: Which side of the blockage will I travel, north toward town or back behind the barrier the way we have come? Out into the world or back where it is private, the entrance now walled off.

I see Uru trotting off in the direction of town. I follow. There is a long line of south-bound cars backed up from the rock fall, stuck, waiting for rescue. We run in the empty north-bound lane. The people in their cars stare at us as we pass. We run and run until we reach the edge of town. Uru sits on the verge at the top of a hill looking down on the rooftops and streets and the sunlight starring off the traffic. “Why have we come here?” I ask. Everything in me shrinks away from this place.

“This is where the money is,” she answers calmly.

“This place shrivels me.”

She turns her grave eyes to mine. “Don’t stand in a place that drains your power. Stand where your power rises up through you.”

I don’t need to be told twice. I take off running, not on the road now but through the grasses and the trees, headed home. The running fills me with joy. Uru is running beside me. We are not alone. There are wolves all around us, running with us. “The other meaning of my name,” she says “when you turn it around it means Family.”

We are family. We run together, hunt together, eat together. We do together what could not be done as one, each fulfilling a necessary part. This is what Uru teaches me.

Stand in your place of power. Find your family. Do your part.

This is the way of sustenance.


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