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An Owl in the Tree, A Coyote in the Yard

Last night two things happened that made me happy.  When I went out to feed the horses at late dusk, I found a great horned owl perched in the tree above the pasture gate.  It didn’t fly away when I opened the barn door.  It looked at me while I looked at it.  I decided not to offend it by flipping on the bright outside barn lights, and instead did my feeding chores in the half-light of dusk, with the owl watching from the bottom bare branches of the aspen outside the gate.

Why does it make me happy to see this owl?

Some people believe seeing an owl is a bad omen.  I am not one of those people.  To me seeing the owl means that I have been blessed with the presence of a predator, a predator that can help restore the balance.

Later last night the sound of joyful yipping erupted in the front yard.  A coyote had caught something delicious for dinner and was announcing the good news to all who cared to hear it.  Wyatt, my ever watchful mastiff, did not care to hear it – and he barked back his ferocious displeasure at the coyote.  I did not let Wyatt out of the house to give chase.  I want the coyote to hunt in my yard.  My yard needs balance.

I am able to be happy with the predators in my yard because I don’t want or expect what is unreasonable.

I don’t expect my cats to be safe outdoors.  When I let them outside, I accompany them for their safety.  I don’t want my yard to be a wilderness free zone.  I let the grass grow to seed before I mow it, and I leave the wildflowers alone.  I don’t want to have a small dog that could be considered prey to a coyote or an owl.  So I keep a big dog.  He can hold his own.

It makes no sense to me that I should demonize the keepers of the balance simply because I might want to have something that could be harmed by them carrying out their roles as balance bringers to the harmonious whole.

I want to give up what is out of balance, and embrace what is.



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