While Italy sings for solidarity, my neighborhood howls.
The first night the howling started I felt nervous, it was a week or so into lock down and any sense of commotion made me uneasy. The cat ran away and hid under the bed, I peered out the window cautiously. Then I texted a neighbor and asked if she heard it, she said it was the local wolf pack. I believed her (insert face palm emoji) and then I remembered we have coyotes in these parts but not wolves.
In fact there is a Coyote Creek that runs beneath my apartment and a Coyote Ridge Trail that I hike on in hopes of coming across a canis latrans--I had to look that up so don't be impressed. It happened again the next night and I stayed inside again, unsure what to make of it or if in my hermit mode I even wanted to engage enough with the outside world to make a peep.
The next morning I saw the Nextdoor post with someone suggesting we start a howl for five minutes every night at 8 p.m. through the shutdown as an act of solidarity. I loved the idea and even rushed back from a long beach walk to howl on my deck in unison with others. It's become my favorite time of day, and on day 14 of quarantine I feel grateful for the ritual. Sometimes I talk to neighbors on other balconies, sometimes I wander into the road, it's cathartic either way.
When I lived in SF I would howl on my roof at the full moon...though never had I dreamt I would live somewhere that I wouldn't initiate the call to the wild. I don't howl every night, some nights I prefer to listen and others I make noise and howl and make it a point to scare my cat. It feels like home here now, six months after living here, apparently it just took knowing I had neighbors who craved the wild as much as I. And if I stay open, I might even settle into my pack.