Montana Wolf

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lupercalia: Season of the Wolf

We had just finished a walk on water to a small island; frozen steps across a white world. The only humans were ice fishermen sitting in lawn chairs a half a mile away, ice augers at their sides. I stepped off the bank, into a half foot of snow and drew a ten foot heart with my footsteps -- a valentine to my two companions. Perhaps that's why the magic ones showed up. Valentine's day is the ancient celebration of heat; Lupa, the wolf, the symbol of the instinct to breed. I'd noticed their fist-sized tracks in the snow for weeks, dotted with urine scent marks and digs.

 We'd driven several miles from the heart when we spotted him running across a field. Wolf? Could it be? We jumped from the truck, awestruck at his size and grace; watched until he strode out of sight. I turned back to the truck and there stood two more up the road, side-by-side. I began to walk towards them. One fled, one stayed. Our eyes locked, her expression and demeanor were curious; nary a hint of hostility. I moved closer and she disappeared into the thick-pined hill.


Valentine's Day is the remnant of Lupercalia, so named for Goddess Romina, the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome; so named, before then, for the holy recognition of sexual heat that drives instinct. The Pope banned the church elite from participating in Lupercalia Festivals in 492 AD. Eventually, like most holidays now in existence, the pagan celebration was tamed and integrated into church, thus, Saint Valentine's Day.

Bird songs have lengthened and become more melodic; urine is tinted with blood. Mating is on. The forest is full of lust. This morn, as I laid in morning's darkness, a low, lonely howl seeped through the bedroom walls. "Lest (lust) you forget me," she implied. Not a chance.

1 comment:

  1. Carol, from an email: That is the most soul stirring photo of a wolf, that I have ever looked at. How blessed you were to have been able to look into those eyes, connecting up close and through your hearts. Even in the photo, it feels like looking into the soul.....
    For me it was one of your most powerful blogs/photos...the full face shot.
    Is there any way you can send me just that photo, that I then could take to get printed? I"d love to have it hanging at my desk. Or to use on my computer screen.
    I treasure what I learn and see through your eyes and heart.

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