Living out in the countryside, with not much to do in the summer, I often ventured out into the fields and brushland. Usually along the rivers created by run-off water from irrigated fields.
One warm, summer night, I decided to camp out near one of these rivers, just for the experience. There grew a lot of thick brush on both sides, and in certain places a clump of trees. You really cannot call them rivers, they were more waterways formed to drain off pesticides saturated water into the Salten Sea.
It was getting close to sunset when I picked a spot among some trees. The trees were not tall, nor big. They did form a sort of ring around my camp-site. It was a small clearing, a stone's throw from the water. Because of the brush, I could not see the water, but I could hear it rippling, flowing. I laid out my bed-roll and settled in for the night.
The sun had gone down, and the summer sky began to sparkle like dew-drops on a web. A breeze came up and the tops of the trees swayed and parted. I wondered to myself, "Were the trees opening up so I could see more twinkling stars? Or, were the stars reaching down and parting the tree-tops to look at me?"
About the same time, I heard a yelp! It came from the direction of the river. It was a coyote, for I had heard that peculiar bark many times before. Then there came a second yelp, joined in by several other yelps. The yelps turned into a chorus and seemed almost musical. It was from several coyotes, probably prowling the underbrush looking for prey, mice mostly. They knew I was there, in the dark, letting me known that they knew. They just did not know what I was.
I was not frightened. I welcomed their greeting, and their brief visit, as they continued on their own night venture. The encounter was in passing, yet I knew I would not be alone at any time during the night.
One does tend to bond with one's surroundings. The darkness usually brings fear to some people. But, fear is only an imagination of one's own lack of self-confidence.
As I laid there, listening to the soft murmurs of the water, and the gentle rustling of the tree-tops, I questioned my reasons for doing this. As I drifted off, the wind of my ancestors swirled gently in my mind. Telling me that everything in the universe are one and the same.
Fernando Eros Caro
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