The Wild Within

Photo of Frieda by Jon

Last week I was walking with the dogs on the path.  It was one of those warm spring-like days.  The woods were noisy with  birds and chipmunks and squirrels and Frieda was on the alert.  Her ears were up, her head was pivoting and she was pulling on the leash.  I realized then, that when Jon said I liked when Frieda ran off into the woods, he was right.  I could never quite admit it before.  It seemed irresponsible and unloving to want Frieda to take off for hours chasing animals and sometimes catching them, risking getting hurt or possibly never coming back.  And as much as I worry about her and get angry when she does run off,  when she’s 10 feet away from me and doesn’t listen to my calls, there’s also a part of me that loves it.

When Frieda runs off, she turns into something wild.  She’s the stealthy tiger, no longer a pet. She disappears into woods.  She becomes the woods.  If I do  chase her and get a glimpse of her, it’s just flickers of movement, like an apparition coming in and out of focus, her direction  impossible to predict. She seems to be in a trance, and only acknowledges me if I’m less than a foot away, looking at me as if I’m a memory.   Eventually, she always comes back,  exhausted and confused as if she traveled further than just into the woods for a couple of hours.

I love when Frieda runs off because it speaks to the wild within me.  Frieda is the connection to a part of myself that pulls at me but seems unreachable.  Something deep inside me, inside all of us, that makes me want to lie down in the ferns and become a part of the soil.  I want to hunt and gather my own food and sleep inside a hollow tree.  I want to survive in the wild and know I can do it.  To know I’m just a tiny part of something so much bigger than myself. I think this is what the wild in us does, it lets us know that we belong, that we really are connected to each other and the animals and the earth.  That this is our community.

I want to know that part of me.  To touch it and feel it and live it.   And then, like Frieda, I want to be able to come home.  To good food and a warm bed and a loving man.

17 thoughts on “The Wild Within

  1. “The Wild Within” is such a great decription for that feeling of being connected with nature and Earth. I love that feeling too of being able to survive in the woods, but it is so comforting to be able to come home.

  2. Maria: Wonderful post! Beautiful photo of Frieda! Like you, she probably is so grateful that she has good food, a warm bed and loving people and other dogs to come home to. Peg

  3. So perfectly you phrased it,
    Emotions that are raised in it,
    The edges that are hazed with it,
    Our fantasies amazed in it…
    Like you
    Have Frieda in my soul.

  4. Enjoyed this post. It speaks of the wild within yourself. The freedom you seek to allow your inner being to roam across fabric. Fortunate are those of us who can allow our dogs to touch a part of their make up now and again. A city or fenced in dog may never get to experience. Let anything run away from a dog and the old prey instinct takes over automatically. The chase still remains in the genes.

  5. This post is a very thought provoking one. Like many people, I have issues around safety vs. freedom, which extend of course, to my companion animals. Your ability to see the beauty of Frieda charging out into the woods to chase whatever and share that moment with who knows how many readers is very inspiring. Your ability to further mine that event for well considered ideas about our small space in an infinite cosmos, even more so. Thank you.

  6. Maria, wonderful piece of insightful writing. You are a woman of many talents. Keep sharing this self with us.

  7. Maria, I think your post will resonate with an uncountable amount of people. It awakens a memory of who we really are and what our place in this Web truly is. Thank you for a beautiful insight!

  8. UNREAL POST!You touched a nerve. You chose Frieda and you got the dog you needed! You two are soulmates. Just lovely. The photo makes me want to kiss her!(bad idea,I know.)
    This brought me to the scene in the Temple Grandin movie where she is just luxuriating in the midst of a pasture of cows. I loved that image.So much that I honestly wished it was me.

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