Literary Yard

Search for meaning


By: Raymond Greiner

wolf spirit

The bush plane’s skis touched down on a frozen lake in Northern Ontario; from her co-pilot’s seat Amanda scanned the bleak winter landscape in the receding light. The fishing camp was closed and boarded up for the winter season, and would not open for another four months. They taxied to the landing dock and hurriedly disembarked. Veteran Canadian bush pilot Hubert Hallihan and Amanda Clark from Montana unloaded two light packs, put on snowshoes and began walking a trail leading away from the camp, Amanda moving quickly ahead in the half light. The mile trail led to a small cabin nestled among a grove of hemlocks. The cabin door was unlocked, and within minutes they lit a fire in the woodstove and located the generator. Amanda took off her parka and heavy boots, the cabin was in perfect order, shelves filled with books and canned goods and an ample supply of firewood stacked near the stove. Hubert began preparing food. Amanda sat at the desk and turned on the computer, she immediately began opening files and searching titles, then found what she was looking for; “Morris Jamison’s Journal.”

I have entered my 65th year and am feeling the effects of longevity. The year is 2020 and the world is in chaos; cultural divide and intolerance dominate, as technology dilutes ethics. Technological advances have come quickly, indiscriminately gratuitous, failing to decipher effects and influences hastening to implement self serving functions resulting in rampant exploitation and a loss of moral direction. Global social structure is in contraction.”

In my salad days youth energy drove me, work became my master finding success as it is socially appraised. Obsessive fiscal quest masked introspection, creating a lacking in spiritual awareness, and I now feel anxiety and despair as I recognize this failing. My mind wanders, searching for enlightenment, a new direction seeking a higher plane offering a more defined purpose and meaningful direction. This stage of life has brought a void, and each day is dominated by anxiety and despair.”

During my business career each summer co-workers and I vacationed in Canada at a remote fly in fishing camp. We visited the same camp over a period of years, becoming friends with the Canadian family that operated the camp. During these trips I felt a sense of conversion, refreshed, as if someone opened a window in a stale room. The beauty and solitude of the north woods penetrated my soul; however, this feeling vanished when I returned to work. I called the Canadians on occasion; they were always cordial and invited me to return.”

I remembered a cabin about a mile from the main lodge, thought it may offer stimulation, awaken my spirit if I lived at that cabin for a year or two, absorbing the North Woods directly, a means of moving away from the ubiquitous social decomposition, seeking the sanctity of solitude which tends to mellow the mind. I discussed my plan with the Canadians, they said the cabin needed work, but it was in good shape overall and there would be no objection to me occupying the cabin, emphasizing that winter would be challenging; although, ski plane service is available during winter months and there are only a few months during the year when no air service is available, during freeze up and again during break up, until the water is clear to land float planes. The Canadians knew me well and were aware of my deep love for the North Country, and that my decision would not be considered without careful thought and planning. I could install a portable generator, connect my computer to satellite service and also have a satellite phone for emergency use. I have several close e-mail correspondents, allowing quality connections to soften lonely times.”

I drove to Port Loring, Ontario, chartered a bush plane to access the fishing camp to discuss details of my plan with the Canadians. I wanted to inspect the cabin and took along assorted tools and supplies. This new course allowed youthful energy to rekindle. As the plane landed on the lake memories were aroused of those grand times with my friends. The splendor of the area is breathtaking, a sense of purity. My Canadian friends welcomed me and prepared a fabulous perch dinner, with my plans centering conversation. They offered me a room at the lodge; I stayed one night but was eager to visit the cabin, determined to stay at the cabin regardless of its condition, evaluating improvement needs of what would become my new home.”

I hiked to the cabin the next morning and was pleasantly surprised, the roof and chinking needed a bit of work, but the stove and flue were in good condition. I spent the next few days improving and organizing, hired a young man from the lodge to help cut and stack firewood. He was able to estimate how much firewood I would need for winter’s duration. By mid September things were in good order. The computer and satellite phone functioning charged with the generator. The Canadians used a power driven hauler to carry in a 50-gallon drum of gasoline for the generator; they also carried in my food supply. The lodge would close on October 1st, and they gave me a key in case of an emergency.”

My first cold fall evening was filled with emotion, feeling the warmth of the wood stove, preparing my meal. It was late September with a chill in the air, a harbinger of what was to come. I felt a fear/love emotion, with cautionary enchantment. I contacted several of my closest e-mail correspondents. Amanda Clark is my most frequent writer. Amanda is a tall, athletic woman; she lives in Montana working for the National Park Service as a naturalist and field biologist. Amanda had spent many winter months in remote cabins while researching Alaskan wolf/caribou interaction and habitat, her papers on wildlife research have been widely published. Amanda is a woman of great knowledge and experience regarding wilderness areas; she became my check-in person, allowing me a level of comfort. One could not have a better check-in person than Amanda.”

It is now mid December, snow has been heavy making daily tasks of carrying firewood and getting the generator running more difficult. Early one evening while reading my e-mail, there was a distinct scratching on my cabin door. I grabbed my flashlight and opened the door. Nothing in sight, but just off the porch, in the snow were wolf tracks, no mistaking them. This is an odd occurrence. Wolves distance themselves from humans; the few I have seen quickly turn and run in the opposite direction. This strange event was on my mind for days, wondering why a wolf would react in such a manner. A week passed, and then more scratching, no wolf in sight, but a dead snowshoe hare was on the porch near my door. The next day I skinned the rabbit and made rabbit stew. Again scratching, I opened the door, and just off the porch was a wolf, with penetrating eyes, fixed on mine, remaining about a minute, then turned and ran back into the dark forest, a haunting experience. I was numb with disbelief.”

Another week passed, no scratching. I regarded the incident as a freak occurrence. Then one evening the scratching returned. As I went to the porch, and just beneath the steps he stood. I shined my light on him but he remained stationary. This was a magnificent wolf, very long legs, mostly white with flecks of gray. He seemed more skittish than earlier. I was cold and went back inside to get my parka, thought he would be gone when I returned, but he remained in place. I did not know what to do – was without understanding. As I was thinking of returning to the warmth of my stove thought patterns appeared as if the wolf were projecting thoughts. It was disturbing, then mellowed. ‘I am Wolf Spirit and I have come as your guide and messenger.’ These thoughts were distinct and clear, and then wolf spirit turned and ran back into the forest.”

Each night Wolf Spirit appeared at my cabin and projected thoughts. Wolf Spirit told me I was chosen because of my desire to live in the home of the wolf, sharing understanding and connective love for the wilderness. Wolf Spirit said he had been re-incarnated thousands of times as a wolf with his first re-incarnation from human to wolf. His people were nomads, ancient tribes that followed the mammoth herds.” “They were hunters, creating a natural condition for his re-incarnation to a wolf because wolves are also hunters. After a time I realized that Wolf Spirit was able to read my thoughts. I projected to Wolf Spirit that I decided to come to this cabin to escape the chaos and the decline of humanity, which seemed on a path of self-destruction that may also cause Earth’s demise. Wolf Spirit said, ‘Earth will survive; it is too powerful to succumb to human’s inability to harmonize. This decline and failings will serve as a re-direction, renewal and growth, attaining an eventual zenith that will, in time, allow re-gaining of balance and direction.’

Wolf Spirit then became silent and moved back into the forest, as he had done previously.”

I was dazed in mind, body and spirit, without words to describe this encounter. I thought about writing Amanda. She would surely think I had lost my mind. Wolf Spirit did not visit my cabin again, but I would often see him during my snowshoe treks, always at a distance. His lope was distinct; I would stop and watch him, there was fluidness to his movement, such grace and beauty, mesmerizing. How grand to be a wolf; yet harsh and challenging to hunt and survive. The average wolf’s life span is 8 years. As time passed Wolf Spirit was not seen, I worried about him, always looking for him during my snowshoe treks. I researched the web to learn about the spirit of the wolf, discovering that the wolf spirit serves as a transitional guide for wolves and other animal incarnations. The spirit of the wolf also has connection to Sirius, the Dog Star, used by mariners as a navigational guide.”

As I listen to the nightly opus of the wolves tears form in my eyes thinking of Wolf Spirit, wondering where he has gone. I am obsessed with seeing him again. I agonize, with thoughts questioning the purpose of Wolf Spirit’s decision to visit my cabin, and feel a certain spiritual power to our bond. I must continue to trek and seek my beloved friend, try to see him, and connect once more.”

Here the journal ends.

Epilogue: “Dear Ms Clark, corporal Fielding and I have done an extensive search for your friend Mr. Jamison, by air and foot. As we arrived at the cabin we took note that there were snowshoe tracks leading away from the cabin. We followed these tracks for over a mile; the tracks entered a large meadow where the tracks abruptly ended near the center of the meadow with many wolf tracks in this vicinity, but no sign of blood nor was a body found. I regretfully report that we have given up the search. We request, if possible, for you to visit the cabin, examine Mr. Jamison’s effects, and possibly discover a clue to the event or events that caused Mr. Jamison’s disappearance. We are at your service for any possible assistance. Regards, Sgt. McNeil RCMP”



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