W is For Wolf

The wolf has a special place in my heart because of what I went through at a particular time in my life. Floundering in a sea of self-doubt due to a betrayal in my marriage, I came across a book called “Women Who Run with Wolves,” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.  Here’s part of the blurb for her book: “Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts and passionate creativity. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women.

 Okay, so I had the passionate creativity and I was a Wild Woman; I mean, I am bush baby, wild creature of Africa, after all. But what I didn’t have was good instincts. So I joined a group of women facilitated by a psychologist and we met once a week to discuss the principles of the book. Now, I’m not a joiner, and being raised in Africa where children were seen and not heard and definitely not encouraged to express themselves, I entered into this journey with these strangers, cautious and insecure.

But something shifted in me during that class which became the first step in my journey toward those good instincts. And then to as if to prove I’d chosen the right path, shortly after the class ended I spent a weekend up in Idyllwild, in the San Jacinto Mountains, not far from home with a girlfriend. There, in a kitschy little shop on the main drag, I saw this T-shirt with an image of wolf silk-screened on the front. The creature stared straight at me with eyes that spoke of instincts pure and true. I bought the T-shirt and actually wore it a couple of times. I don’t know when that stopped, but I do know that that image of the wolf along with the decision to rely on my inner compass guided me to that authentic self that had been there the entire time.  It took time and many steps but it began with a wolf.

4 thoughts on “W is For Wolf

  1. I have a strong feeling that ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’ would have an even more profound effect on me now than when I first encountered it years ago. There’s no looking at a wolf without seeing what a beautiful, powerful creature it is. Isn’t it ironic, though, that, for most of us, our first encounter with ‘wolf’ is that big bad one at the door or lurking in the forest?

  2. This is beautiful, Rossandra. Maybe my favorite so far. There’s a fella here in my small town who has a wolf that goes everywhere with him and is absolutely magnificent. While I don’t believe in harnessing wild creatures for pets, he certainly is a happy and friendly fellow and I get to see this gorgeous creature up close as I never would be able to in the wild. Just the thought of these animals being hunted — from helicopters — no less, completely outrages me. I’m so glad you were able to find your inner wolf and write about it.

    1. Thanks Jayne! I’d love to see this wolf up close. I have a friend who has a part wolf dog and she is different, for sure. And yes, don’t get me started on wolves being hunted from helicopters. I see red.

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