A Little Coyote Dream
Over a year ago I had a dream. It happened shortly after my first trip out to the western deserts. In the dream, I was watching a documentary on a large screen. On the screen was footage of a coyote trotting through the desert. The well spoken and slightly British voice of the narrator came on and said something like, “Coyotes have been able to survive and, in cases, thrive in some of the harshest environments in the world. For instance, the desert where they started.”
As the coyote trotted between cactus, over stones, and past the camera with a mouse dangling from it’s mouth, the narrator continued, “Do you realize why coyotes are able to survive in the desert? Let’s ask the coyote himself, shall we?”
Immediately, the camera zooms in and the screen fills with the coyote’s face. The coyote stops, looks at the camera, drops the mouse and says, “We survive because we realize it’s the frikkin desert, moron.”
He follows this by looking at the ground, looks surprised, and says, “Oh, nuts, where’d my mouse go?”
The dream ended there and I actually woke up with a smile on my face. Over morning coffee, the dream continued to stick with me and I realized I’d been given a wonderful “lesson dream.” The number one rule of survival is to not only adapt to your surroundings but to accept your surroundings. The coyote has been able to thrive and survive because it almost immediately accepts its surroundings and begins looking for ways to succeed.
If you are in a desert the best thing you can do is accept, for now, you are in the desert. It’s not wise to go through the desert thinking it’s a lush woodland. You can wish for water and juicy prey all you want but that’s not going to fill your belly or keep you cool at high sun. No, it’s the desert and you have to adapt accordingly.
The lesson can be translated into our daily lives. How many times have you railed against something that wasn’t going to change? How often did you ignore the reality of the situation you found yourself within and cause more damage because of it? Survival stories are full of incidents where individuals did not stop and take the time to not only adapt but to accept their new surroundings. We all have known someone who was going through a very tough time in their life and though they admit it’s a tough time they don’t accept it. They barrel through life and keep pushing to keep up all the meetings, parties, etc. They refuse to accept that maybe the pace should be slowed so the new stress can be handled. What happens to those people? In my case, I usually see health issues creep up as the Universe forces them to stop, sometimes in a hospital bed.
Maybe it’s something as small and short term as a traffic jam? You can’t force the traffic any faster. You can’t call for a helicopter evac. (Wouldn’t that be cool? +10 Style points if you can pull that off!) It can be as frustrating as trying to find shade and water in the desert. What can you do to make it better? Perhaps it is as large as finding yourself or a family member in the hospital? Laid off? A move to a new location? The best thing you can do is understand, for now, you are in the desert. What can you do, in the dry high heat, to make the best of the situation?
I do want to stress that this is not a defeatist attitude, not a “woe is me” wailing. It’s actually a powerful affirmation to simply accept that you are in a stressful situation. In my dream, the coyote did not wallow in the fact he was in the desert, did not complain. He accepted it, was actually pleased about it, and, I want to add, had fun with it, made light of it.
That was the message of my Coyote dream. Since I had it, I’ve remembered it with a chuckle and now I am sharing it with you. In these stressful times we all seem to be going through, I hope its memory will help at the right times.