I was sitting in my car at the marina the other night. I had gone down there after my 8 PM meeting ended and the ice cream social time was over. I sat in my car for a while and looked out at the harbor with all the lights. There is always some cargo ship coming or going to the port. These behemoths fascinate me. I day dream quite a bit about where they have been and where they might be going.
Sometimes, but not too often, two ships will pass each other. But mostly there is a single shape outlined by lights moving silently toward its destination. And so it happened that I was looking at the outline of a ship passing when I saw her. She was air scenting and wary, moving cautiously towards my car. She was in good shape, not thin or starved looking but soft and healthy. With every tentative foot fall, she crept closer.
Finally, she stopped about 10 feet from the car. I could see her eyes and her nose quivering. Her fur was grey and clean. At first, I thought that she could be a dog but quickly realized that I was looking at an animal which I have only seen on my island recently. This lone coyote had made it to a marina resort and was standing in the glow of lights from the city. I think that I quit breathing for a few minutes. I knew that any motion would make her run off. I felt a sense of wonder, tinged with sadness and dread.
I have not been in a good place today. I have been thinking about the single ship traveling on a voyage, the lone coyote in the parking lot at the marina, and my own tendency to go it alone, suffering in silence. I found out yesterday that there will be a retirement party for a group of us who are leaving service. I immediately felt a stab of fear and sadness. I wondered whether I wanted to go at all. Last night I asked C. if she would go with me to the party. She said that she didn't want to go because she didn't want to see "those" people. Funny, I knew the answer before I asked her. There are people here who C. has a resentment toward. C. left without any kind of party because she simply didn't want to have anything done for her. She is a lot like the lone coyote too, moving tentatively and with every intent of flight when things become too uncomfortable.
I don't want to go to this party alone. And I immediately began to think how others would have their family members there, and I would be alone. I could feel the self-pity rising inside, and I became that little kid who was left out.
So I asked C. again this morning, and she again said that she didn't feel comfortable going. I am turning that over to my Higher Power. But I am also taking some action. I've asked my sponsor and another good friend to go. And perhaps I'll ask a few others to go as well, such as old colleagues who have also retired. I don't want to be the lone coyote. I want to go and say farewell without any resentment. I don't want to have expectations of how it will be but just be accepting of what is.