Howl Away

While staying at home, we are finding new hope and maintaining connections to friends and the outdoors during the current crisis.


photo by Doug Schnitzspahn

like so many of us in Colorado and beyond, I have been howling every night at 8 p.m. I am howling for the doctors and nurses and other front line and emergency workers who need our support. I am howling for my parents who live just 20 minutes away but I have only been able to see on a Zoom screen. I am howling for my 10-year-old next-door neighbor, Jeremiah, who I had an over-the-fence snowball fight with the other day. I am howling for my eldery neighboors who are alone during this time and feel connected when we bray like wolves for these few moments together every day. I am howling for my family, for my own broken heart, for the way it releases all this worry and frustration and remind me of nights camping that seem like another lifetime when I have heard the yips of coyotes and even the full, sad songs of wolves near Yellowstone National Park. I am howling because I can hear it up and down our neighborhood, because it’s one way we all connect in this midst of this absurdity and tragedy upending our lives.

The Black Cat Farm (blackcatboulder.com) truck showed up in our neighborhood the other night after we all let out a good howl and we flocked to it like kids to an ice cream truck (keeping six-feet distant and wearing masks and gloves). We bought bulbs of garlic, a green mole sauce, crisp kale. It felt right not just to get this bounty in the midst of isolation but also to support a local business, to know that we will all find some way to survive and enjoy the good things in life. We have been trying to support the businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. We bought poetry books and coffee from Innisfree (innisfreepoetry.com) down the street on the Hill. I could have made repairs to our bikes on my own but instead I walked them down to Boulder Cycle Sport  (bouldercyclesport.com). We have been drinking Lyons-based Spirt Hound gin (spirithounds.com), while the brand is busy helping the community in turn by making hand sanitizer.

Our community is helping us as well. My friend and writing colleague Latria Graham made us face masks with Hogwarts house themes (Gryffindor!) and we have worn them on local bike rides or hikes from our doorstep up into the Flatirons. Our neighbors brought us a surprise bag of pastries from Le French Café (lefrenchcafeboulder.com). EO’s parent company Summit Publishing has been working overtime to keep us employed. And you, our readers, have been here, supporting us, having this magazine mailed to you or going out of your way to pick it up and let us know how much we mean to you on your social feeds. 

When this is over, we will all need to heal. I keep going back to a line from Whitman: “I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete,/The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.” So howl for what’s broken, for the earth, and for how we can be complete again.

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