We get up every day knowing that the sun will rise and if not shine brightly then at least lighten the sky behind the clouds, fog or snow and mark the passage of the hours. The moon is full or not full, we do not remember if the stars were out last night because we didn’t look. We assume we will live out our day doing the routine things that have to be done and plan ahead for doing something not routine. We drive, shop, eat, report to the office, do laundry and one day blends into another so that we wonder where time has gone. We don’t have time to look up at the sky to see it change or look down at the ground to notice that a bit of green is showing in the clumps of dry grass or tracks mark the passing of an animal. We don’t notice those few seconds of absolute silence when there is an absence of noisemakers – planes, trucks, people, wood chippers, leaf blowers, store music, televisions blaring in Wal-Mart. If there is noise in those end-of-the-world moments, it is the songs of birds which fit into the universe like they really belong.
Once in a while something happens which forces us to look, to “be in the moment” with no chance of distraction by other things. So it happened this week when this wild creature appeared at my doors and windows, cold and hungry and making it clear he wanted in. I followed him from room to room from inside and with just the glass between us, got to look into the face of a beautiful bobcat. Again I realized, as with so many of the other wild things that cross my porch, graze in the field and slither along the walls, that I live in their world and they live in mine.
His low growls and padding from door to window to door, wanting to come in and looking so lean, tested my willpower to not throw him the chicken in the refrigerator. Feeding wild animals around here is not helping them; they become dependent and when you are not there, they become lost. So no, I do not feed the wild things but they feed me.