Someone reminded me recently of how much I love Joni Mitchell’s music, although I haven’t listened to it in a long time. The last few days, a line from one of her songs keeps singing in my soul – No regrets, Coyote. It seems a perfect reflection on this year as it comes to a close.
Coyote has a prominent place in Native American mythology, often portrayed as a trickster, causing mischief and chaos wherever he goes. But his tricks are not necessarily malicious. They can serve to reveal to us our own illusions, our own vanities, our own humanity. They can shine light into our dark corners, expose what is hidden, and clean out old pain and shame.
Coyote has little respect for tradition and order and limitations. He crosses the boundaries of possibility and politeness with equal disregard. He is a crazy wisdom teacher.
And he came to visit me this year. He exploded my heart wide open and left me there – hurt, confused, embarrassed, disappointed.
And purified, liberated, laughing, wholly alive, free.
For that is Coyote’s gift, if we choose to accept it, the freedom of being wholly alive.
So as this year draws its final breaths, I ask myself – What will I leave behind this year? What will I carry with me into the new year? And what will I start fresh?
I will leave behind the stories that I tell myself about the past. I will carry with me an open heart. And I will start fresh with a willingness to say yes.
No regrets, Coyote.
For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes! ~Dag Hammarskjold