Early one recent morning, I looked out the kitchen window and saw an enormous cat sitting in the breezeway between our house and garage. Its back was towards me, but I could tell that it was watching the bird feeders, no doubt sizing up the breakfast menu. It must have sensed me there, because it suddenly swiveled its head and stared straight at me with yellow eyes. I felt that I was gazing directly into the wild. I was five feet away from a bobcat.
A second later, it slipped away around the side of the garage but not before I noticed that it had a bobbed tail and little black tufts on the tips of its ears. Its fur was a blur of dots and stripes. Though the bobcat is the most common wildcat in North America, it also tends to be the most elusive – solitary, territorial, hunting primarily in the twilight and dawn hours. I felt lucky to have seen it at such close range, to have shared a moment – and a look – with something so untamed and beautiful and free.
The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.