A wild animal, a wild heart, a wild spirit… they all require the same courage.
I didn’t start out brave, but I’m ending up brave because loving a wild thing cracks your heart open one day at a time, not all at once. I didn’t decide when I took my first wild thing home, I’m going to love deeper than I’ve ever known. I just committed to owning something. I called it an animal, but really I was committing to owning my own heart.
Yes, I thought I owned my heart before, but not like this. I didn’t realize this 5-pound animal was stretching my heart strings ever so gradually until one day I saw my heart had opened to her more than it had to any human being.
This kind of open I only trusted to an animal because only she could understand the primal rawness of my heart and how I wasn’t as tough as I seemed on the outside.
Getting to know her introduced me to another wild thing I hadn’t met formally, my heart, and taught me that all wild things need the same stuff: to be seen, to be loved, and to be free.
All my wild things have one thing in common. They understand the natural cycle of high and low, rest and intensity, life and death. They need no explanation for my tears, no definition of my mood, no justification of my worth. They are content to just be with me here, one life sitting with another.
I take them for granted, I love them more than I admit, I hold them close, and I will lose them one day. When their cycle of life is over I will find another wild thing to love. Not because they can be replaced, but because that’s what they taught me: how to love and be loved and that it’s the only way to stay truly alive.
This is the cycle of life that all wild things accept. It’s why they are content with just being, why they’re so shamelessly alive and why they forgive so easily.
They know the secret to life: This is it.
Let’s spend it together.