Our ancestors knew it. Few of us do.
This other world isn’t supernatural. It’s not in another dimension.
It’s where we came from. It’s still here, but we left.
So sometimes it comes to visit.
The squirrel steals the figs off our fig tree. The armadillo roots up our newly planted rosebush. The deer eat our young crepe myrtle down to the roots. The feral sow, with her thirty-six piglets, feeds in our garbage can. The coyote pack, which we hear at night howling at the edge of sleep–howling until the neighborhood dogs yelp in envy–the coyotes disappear our cat. The panther, en route from Colorado to Mexico, growls at us out of the brush at the side of the road when we take our evening walk.
They’re just saying hello. They’re saying, we’re here whether or not you acknowledge us.
They’re saying, come out of your house.
A deer trail angles across our front yard. When we first moved here, we were shocked every time the deer passed through. It was as if someone’s herd of cows was roaming free, browsing on our grass. Fawns are born twenty feet from our front door. They and their mothers bed down at night on our side lawn.
Now, when I go into the city, I’m ill at ease. Something’s missing. Everyone’s human. Where are the other beings?
There’s a legend in this area that a herd of bison once escaped through a break in a fence. A whole herd of bison. No one ever found them.
They’re here, though, living down in Devil’s Hollow. If we hide in one of the caves tonight, we’ll see them pass by.