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The International Writers Magazine

In Rhythm with Wolves:
From A Calendar of Nature and Soul

The following passage is excerpted from the second volume of the Earth Vision series, a project that explores the forum of spiritual ecology. The author of the series, Josef Graf, holds nature as a metaphor, a veil beyond which to access the ecological arena of nature itself.

Northern Native people tell of a long ago event in the depth of winter, wherein a starving hunter is given the first pair of snowshoes by a mysterious man who turns out to be the Spirit of the Wolf. From that day, powers of transport and provision are enhanced for the people.

Even now, a contemporary person, opening to inward edges of spiritual being, can sense the Spirit of the Wolf ranging by his or her side, lending fortitude, golden eyes contending with winter darkness, and luxurious fur an ample robe against the cold. Ranging the austerity of the season, no matter how dark the "winter" of our materialistic society falls, the wolf is in its element.

A Waldorf teacher I know, suffering the loneliness that attends not being met by a mate, has discovered, in the central theme of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, an adagio movement consonant with his soul mood, as it modulates between deep melancholy and a sweet bridge to the love he longs for. Within this orchestration he encounters a star shining in the black waste of an interior heaven. And the soul, struggling to rise from the numbing snowdrift sweeping over it, cold, dark, silent, alone, reaches out to its beacon of hope.
On Sunday evenings this man hosts a weekly radio program. Perched before the microphone, the rotating disks map a journey of wandering piano melodies, percussive caverns, streaming violins, a full-bodied sea of synthesizer. It is an occasion for listeners to roam inwardly, to counteract nostalgia of feeling far from home that pervades the soul through its long ordeal of incarnation.

Through the week, he teaches a Grade Two class in a Waldorf school. In Waldorf Education, the stories are the heart of the lesson and, lucky him, he gets to convey Native legends. From Raven Steals the Sun, an art lesson explores light and dark interactions. From the story of The Wolf Who Brought Snowshoes, a snowshoe trail becomes a form drawing.

This time of year, sense perception of nature diminishes. Light dims, colors fade to earthen shades. Birds are subdued. Few aromas pervade the air, a faint whiff of frozen cedar, perhaps, or a metallic hint of snow. And feeling, by cold, falls numb.

Snow-shoeing the meander of a valley bottom, grounding aspiration, the inner sensate being ventures through a vivid landscape. Beneath the auspices of Sirius, the Dog Star, Beethoven’s Ninth rises from the foundation of creation, and unlimited vigor counters the cold drifts and parades across the frozen field. And under the star’s brilliant beams flashing now against the black night, the wolf ranges far and wide, traversing horizons of the undiscovered.

Provision is held in abeyance for animals and birds, sustenance sparse, but adequate, in this Calendar-end stretch far from summer dreaming. And here, a part of humanity peers off into the year ahead and envisions potential for a time of fulfillment. And, though another part looks and lacks faith, exaltation can be won. Life provides what is needed now. And the last word is key. Now is dependable. And, in fact, now is forever.

Excerpted from A Calendar of Nature and Soul, by Josef Graf
For more information, contact:
Josef Graf
Earth Vision

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