Last night, awake (in part because of the cat’s restlessness, using my shoulders as a launching platform to jump to the windowsill above my pillows), I came down to work. It was 1 a.m., then 2. And dark outside, because clouds moved in to cover the waning gibbous moon. There, there, in the far distance: coyotes. A singing explanation for the cat’s behaviour, and mine.
On my way home from lunch with a friend yesterday, I slowed down on the Sakinaw hill because bears were crossing the highway. I suspect it was this year’s orchard family. I saw two—the sow and one cub, but the other cub might have already raced up into the old gravel pit. The sow loved our young grass last year and came in the evening to graze.
It might have been them the cat heard. In the darkness, anything is possible. I thought of Alice Oswald’s beautiful poem, “Fox”, which I read yesterday, and its reminder that lives run parallel to our own, close enough to hear, if not touch:
in such serious sleeplesstrespass she camea woman with a man’s voicebut no nameas if to say: it’s midnightand my lifeis laid beneath my children
like gold leaf
My own children sleeping, in whatever the time zone, so far away, and yes, my life laid out for them, a quilt for their safety.