I am the wolf.
Wolves have captured my imagination for as long as I can remember. They used to stare at me from posters plastered on my bedroom walls and outdated mini calendars tacked inside my school locker door. I made wolf collages and filled sketchbooks. I would imagine wolves running alongside our car on family excursions. I spent hours in the snow pretending I was a member of a pack. I’ve even howled under the moon.
Remarkably, it wasn’t until recently that I recognized that this love of mine was odd. I assumed that the beauty and allure of the wolf was undisputed, that everyone was similarly obsessed and many simply felt the bizarre need to hide it. Sure, there are stories depicting the evil nature of wolves, but I was sure these sentiments were wildly outdated and had long since been widely dispelled in favour of the deep rooted respect that I harboured in my childhood heart.
As with any absolutely, perfectly, healthy obsession, mine fuels just about every endeavour I undertake. Every time I cross the finish line, every time I sink the javelin into the earth, or land with a satisfying “thud” into the sand of the long jump pit, the wolf is there, calmly gazing at me through the trees, conveying it’s silent approval. When I take out my paint or clay, I sense a familiar furry face sitting just below the surface, waiting to emerge beneath my fingers.
The wolf to me means fiery intensity in the moment. Whether that means tactfully surviving a harsh winter, or joyfully loping through a sunny clearing surrounded by family, the wolf embodies being alive. Well known physical attributes of the wolf – strength, agility, and endurance – are reason enough to garner idolization. Yet it’s a lesser known characteristic, and arguably the wolf’s greatest advantage, that strikes a chord within me: cooperation.
“The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” – Rudyard Kipling
I strive to emulate the wolf at every opportunity: a quiet confidence that is displaced by the explosive aggression of the hunt. I deeply value my relationships with family and friends, and I feel no greater joy than when working together to accomplish common goals.
I am the wolf.