Coyote or wolf comes teaching trust

Coyote photo taken by Department of Natural Resources in the early 1980’s

Yesterday was such an active day filled with blogging, dyad, work, grocery shopping in the “big” town 45 miles north, phone calls with family, stoking fires, making dinner, responding to blog comments, oh, and a dozen other already forgotten undertakings.

A challenging moment popped up mid-afternoon and I paused to gaze out the window. Movement on the ridge on the other side of the ravine caught my eye. The leaves are down from the skeleton trees, so you can glimpse woods animals more often. Almost always it’s a deer or six ambling by. But yesterday I noticed short legs. It was a coyote or wolf. It moved swiftly between the trees, so quickly that absolute identification proved impossible.

Native Americans call coyote a trickster. It can be an unfortunate omen. He’s also a creator, teacher and keeper of magic. (Talk about paradox, right?) The wolf shines as a teacher as well, but also portends strength and loyalty. When you’re having trouble with trusting others, call wolf in–one source suggests.

I don’t always pay 100% attention to what others say about animal totems and signs. Sometimes it feels spot on. Sometimes it’s a maybe. Other times it’s a definitive no. What feels more compelling is to turn inside and ask Spirit what the coyote/wolf signifies in this new moment.

“Just trust,” an inner voice advised. “The teacher is here.”


I sank into trust all around the challenging moment. Let go of all worry. It would be OK. Just release into the Holy’s design.

Within an hour the entire situation had resolved itself. For now anyway. I thank coyote/wolf for the reassurance and teaching message.

Spirit also tapped my shoulder this morning and whispered about trust again. Write about trust, the Universe seemed to say.

It seems so often that the spiritual teacher comes again and again to share this basic reminder: Trust. Trust in divine timing. Trust in yourself. Trust in love. Just trust, can’t you humans?

There are so many ways I haven’t trusted myself or others or the world over the years. A good way to sum up the essence of this seventy five spiritual exploration is this: Just trust. Trust in what’s happening. Explore deeper than the surface appearance. Be so very gentle and compassionate to whatever is arising.

Glimpse of coyote several years ago. Never have photographed a wolf.

Trust in the Holy, God, Spirit, Higher Self, awareness, Allah, Great Spirit, Jehovah, Jesus, the Universe, whatever name you use to signify the wholeness beyond the rational mind, the sometimes tumultuous feelings, the ever-changing uncontrollable world.

It’s a sinking into this trust. But, paradoxically, it’s not turning away from decisions, intentions, boundaries, actions. It’s a melting pot where we both trust and intend. Where we surrender and embrace our sovereign individuality. We both relax into the Holy and make logical decisions, to the best of our ability. (And sometimes we don’t have that ability at our fingertips, darn it.)

Mind sometimes says it can’t be both ways, but I suspect it is. The divine paradox of learning to live more steadfastly with the Holy’s eyes.

Coyote pauses and looks back at us. Wolf howls at the full moon. May we fully learn to trust you, O Holy. Thanks for coming to visit us in your Oneness with your many faces.

Day 74 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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34 Responses to Coyote or wolf comes teaching trust

  1. Larissa says:

    As usual, you express yourself so well. I don’t have anything useful to add to this exploration, but I feel like blowing you a few extra kisses this morning

    xoxoxo ❤

  2. leelah saachi says:

    Wolf is holy-ing 🙂
    During my training I played “trickster” more than one time . it was exhilarating AND scary to allow it to “operate” me – but the applause from the “audience” showed me, they all loved him/her – and afterwards, I felt STRONG and present and happy. Good girls are not tricksters of course, so it was quite a shift –
    and the T is in most fairy tales – the hero would not get anywhere without dealing with it – I am amazed that you have them close by, in the wild

    • Kathy says:

      This is really interesting, Leelah, that you played trickster during your training time. And even more interesting that the audience loved the trickster side. What a unique opportunity for you to embrace this role in front of others! And, yes, we do have quite a few wolves, coyotes, bears, moose, and more wild creatures roaming these woods.

  3. jeffstroud says:

    When animals present themselves like this I generally take notice, as it seems you have too.
    Since I am in rather suburban area, though the lake/creek is just yards away where I often have walked these days. Where the siting of the Blue Heron or giant snapper turtle and passing birds may often be a sign to pay attention.
    At Easton we often had sightings of Coyote’s usually soundings first.
    I would pause, be grateful for the vision to see what these animals would or could offer if I was willing to receive the gifts…

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, you made a good point here. Sometimes seeing the animals is simple that call to pay attention. Maybe to come into Presence. Maybe to listen to what else wants to be communicated outside of the rational everyday mind. I also like the part where you say we have to be willing to receive what we’re given.

  4. dawnkinster says:

    We have coyotes here, in our yard at night once in awhile. Last winter I found their tracks in the backyard. In the summer I find their scat. We hear them too, across the road in the woods, sometimes very near. But I don’t think we have wolves here. Yet.

    • Kathy says:

      Interesting that you have coyotes that far south in lower Michigan. I don’t remember that in the Thumb–but maybe they were there. We didn’t see wolves here in the early years, but they certainly are here now and many folks are afraid of them. One of my friends used to live right on the Huron Bay and a few wolves would come out on the ice in winter. What a sight that would have been.

  5. debyemm says:

    I have a coyote story. At one time, I was such an avid hiker that I was determined to go out – even when the day grew late and it was dark outside. I always took something to listen to as the hikes were long and it was a luxury to have such a chunk of time. Sometimes I listened to music and sang to the trees, birds and squirrels. Sometimes I listened to audio books – I got through Silent Spring by Rachel Carson that way.

    So this particular night, I was listening to The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue in which seven-year-old Henry Day is kidnapped by fairy changelings living in the dark forest near his home – ageless beings whose secret community is threatened by encroaching modern life.

    I was deep into a loop that turns back at the confluence of two creeks when I heard a coyote call nearby. I turned back and rushed home. But not wanting to be afraid, I went out again the next night yet no encounters.

    Once in New Mexico, attending to my parents’ estate, I had coyotes on either side of me as I was returning to their home from a hike through the desert down to the beach at Elephant Butte Lake. It was daylight. I wasn’t afraid but definitely aware. I’ve had other close encounters here in Missouri. I actually do love them. Maybe they feel that more than any anxiety.

    My in-laws have told stories of coyotes encircling their pet dog out in the horse pasture. I know they run in packs. I do love to hear them calling in the night from my back porch. I still prefer not to hike alone in the dark and now because my knees complain and I worry over my mobility, I wouldn’t do those long hikes anymore anyway.

    • Kathy says:

      Deb, those are two great hiking/coyote stories. Running across that coyote while reading that kidnapped child book would have probably scared the heck out of me, too. But how cool that you went out again to overcome your fear. And having them on both sides of you in New Mexico sounds like such an amazing experience. Maybe you weren’t afraid because it was daylight? And because you love them. Hearing them howl at night is a thrill.

  6. Amanda-Lyn says:

    I look forward to your blog every day 🙂 I’ve no other words for you other than reading your blog has become an important part of my day ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Amanda-Lyn, that is such a kind thing to say. Thank you so much. It makes this feel like it’s been a worthwhile endeavor to meet people like you who have been faithful readers and commenters during these 75 days.

  7. Susan D. Durham says:

    So beautiful, and so timely. Thank you for this today, on the eve of the end of your journey. Amazing.

  8. I love what you say about trust, and finding those teaching moments. We have no wolves where i live, but coyotes, deer, wild turkeys, even elks, and the occasional mountain lion. Rattlers too. It’s such a thrill to watch them all, even the more common. The quail are a favorite that come every day. And I love hearing the coyote howl at night, such a primitive, wild sound that thrills. Maybe connecting with our animal past. Or just connecting with the wild in all of us.

    • Kathy says:

      Deborah, that howl does kind of reach the soul, doesn’t it? I love it, too, especially when safe in our little house. Out walking in the dark might be a different matter. The wild a bit too close, perhaps? How cool that you have elks–we don’t have them here. There are some in northern lower Michigan, but not in the Upper Peninsula. Nor do we have rattles. I am kinda glad of that. We do have partridge, and they are very similar to quail, I think.

  9. Stacy says:

    Trust is a tricky fellow because embracing him means a vulnerability. But I have learned, this year especially, to trust the Holy. (Humans? Well, only insofar as I trust the Holy to guide me through the quagmire of humanity.)

    Have a wonderful December 30th! XOXO

  10. I’ll never see a coyote or a wolf anywhere close to here, but I do pay attention if I have what seems an unusual encounter with a bird or animal – those encounters are rare but beautiful.

  11. A wolf – how cool! I think they look majestic, but have not seen one for real. Thank you for your thoughts on trust today. They gave me hope and confidence. It touched my heart, because this is what we are also doing lately – trusting that what we do can make a difference for the turtles. Big job, but we have to try. I just want to confirm, you are the Kathryn that helped them? Just so we can be accountable and add it on the nest marker. Thank you.

    • Kathy says:

      I am so pleased this offered hope and confidence for you. My heart is touched by that! And, yes indeed, I am the Kathryn friend-of-the-turtles. Was telling my husband about you guys again, and how much I admire what you’re doing out in the world. Living your spirituality. Deep bows…

      • Thank you. It means so much for the turtles, and to us. We are lucky to have family, friends, and blog friends who care. It is lovely to live our values, and if we help turtles while at it, all the better! Many thanks for your love. Happy 2021!

  12. Sarah Davis says:

    I have been thinking about some of my themes of 2020 and trust in the Divine was a big one. Trust and let go. Trust and follow the nudge. Trust and live life on life’s terms and not on should be.

  13. I remember reading this before and am now wondering why I didn’t leave a comment. Must have been interrupted… One night, actually in the wee hours of a morning, years ago when my father was still alive, Tim and I were coming home from visiting him and saw a coyote standing in the middle lane of the interstate. We were spellbound. Tim slowed way down and drove past him at a snail’s pace. The coyote never moved and never took its eyes off our car. It seemed like a gift of Presence, like the universe was aware of the difficult time Papa’s illness was for all of us. I felt seen. The message fits in nicely with your message, to trust in what’s happening in this ever-changing uncontrollable world. 💙

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, I do love how you use the Presence language. I would talk about Presence all the time, but it feels like many others don’t quite resonate with that word as much as you and I. The coyote you and Tim saw with its fixed gaze at you and Tim does seem like a messenger from Presence. Thank you for sharing this. The image is so beautiful.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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