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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Follow the Fox

If you can. 

Into the faerie realm of magic in the mist, 
shifting shapes, totems and good luck charms. 

Years and years ago, on a long winding boring road trip home from college, across miles of farmland as far as the eye could see, my traveling companion spotted critters in the dense brush along the side of the road. By the time he pointed them out and I turned to see, they were gone. 

Trickster, I thought. 

Seeing things that are not really there, 
then the gotcha made-you-look hahahahaa follow up with a grin.

No really, he said. You just have to know HOW to look. 

HOW to LOOK???

Yes, he said. 

You don’t look for something you EXPECT.

Look for something UNEXPECTED.  

A surprise. Something that doesn’t fit the scenery. A flash of color. A dart of movement. The flick of a tail. The bending of the reeds. Birds lifting off a fence. Something is there, he said,  just out of sight. 

A sleight of hand. A magic trick. Secreted in camouflage. 

Hide and Seek. 

They HIDE...You SEEK. 

January Blues. Winter Melancholy. Cabin Fever. 

The EXPECTED case of the post-holiday, 
middle of winter, broken resolutions, stuck in a rut, doldrums. 

Sweeping snow off my porch, head down, swish swish swish...


Out of the corner of my eye, a flash of red on the hill behind my house. 
Everything around me, near me, above me,
 is grey grey grey, or white white white.


A fox. 

A red fox.

Sitting on the hill. Staring at me staring at her. Neither of us move.

UNEXPECTED company is so often disturbing, 
we are anxious for the visit to come to a close. 

How odd, that now I wish to hold this moment dear, as I gather in the details of her ruddy red coat, the V of color on her face punctuated by a period dot of a nose, the tips of her ears pointed perfectly, while her coat is so lush and thick I can almost feel it ripple on my fingertips as I stroke the length of her spine to the end of her tail. The tail is her signature, curved from a calligraphy brush, swirled over parchment paper, with a flourish. 

Her ears perk up, as if she senses I am about to move. 
Which stuns me as the thought has only now entered my head, 
and the word WAIT is on my tongue, yet unsaid. 

I drop the broom and race to grab my camera, 
and the word WAIT echoes across the yard. 

The red red, crazy like a fox, fox skitters up and down the hill, 
running in circles, 
teasing and taunting me to stay and watch, 
her playfulness a charm. 

The hypnotic tail back and forth back and forth follow me,
 just follow me. 

I grab my camera and out of breath steady my hand and try to focus on the spot where I saw her last. 
But she is gone. 

I press the shutter button on my camera.

January Blues.

But what about January Reds?


Folk lore tells the tale, that the sighting of a lone red fox, is a totem. A sign of good fortune to come. A talisman to tuck in your pocket and to carry you forward into the days ahead. 

An opportunity to approach life in a new way. 

To break old habits, to seek new paths around old obstacles. 

An unexpected dream work of renewed energy and passion for the creativity we cherish and desire. A playful romp across the hills zig zagging instead of marching in a straight line or muddled in an endless circle going nowhere. 

The stretching ache of muscles flexing after a long fretful nap. 

Perhaps, I too, am a playful Vixen. 

A shape shifter, mischievous and clever, quick and agile, fleet of foot , 
running across the snow, curious and quick, on the road to opportunity. 


The trick is you will have to watch and wait for me to appear before your eyes. 

I suggest you have your camera ready. 

A hint: 

I will be wearing RED.

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