I could tell something was up because the squirrel, who had been happily munching on the corncob I’d speared to a nail on my backyard fence, started chattering loudly. Yes, in addition to my horses, I feed the neighborhood squirrels.

When I looked up from the garden bed where I’d been clearing out the debris of winter, I saw him practically levitate into a nearby tree.

Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

Before I could turn around to see what might be causing his distress, a red fox sauntered through my yard. Right in front of me! She wasn’t at all disturbed by my presence.

Woman? What woman?

This wasn’t the first time I’d seen her.

A few days earlier, when I was doing the debris- cleaning thing in my front flowerbed, she loped across the street into our yard. She actually walked right on to our neighbor’s porch. My husband and I were stunned. Again, she seemed to not notice us.

People? What people?

This wasn’t good. This little red fox was much too comfortable around humans. Having her hanging out in our green space did not bode well for the neighborhood cats and small dogs.

We guessed that she has a den somewhere close, probably complete with kits. She was likely doing a grocery run. It’s just that we didn’t want our cat, or our neighbor’s cat to be the first course.

Being up close and personal with a red fox was an exciting event for me. It connected me to an ancient wildness hardwired into my soul. My heartbeat quickened; I felt energized. My “fight or flight” response was probably kicking in.

I wasn’t afraid.

I was thrilled.

I recognized the feeling. I’d experienced it other times when I’d encountered an animal in the wild. It was a cross between fear and exhilaration. My body coursed with adrenaline. I was pumped.

Somewhere around the end of March and the beginning of April, I’d set an intention to be more connected to nature. On two separate occasions, I’d been in the audience, listening to women who make their living writing about and being connected to the natural world. Page Lambert and Terry Tempest Williams are amazing women, and outstanding writers.

What they had to say deeply moved me. For one thing, it inspired me to start this blog – something I’ve been talking about for at least two years.

I spend entirely too much time tethered to my computer. I began to think I was losing an important part of myself. I figured telling you my stories about Bud and Pepper and me would help me remember my wildness.

What you focus on expands. Right?

Seeing the red fox made me curious. What was her message to me? I looked up fox symbolism on the Internet, where you can find everything you ever wanted to know about any subject. I love it!

Here’s what I found: “Overwhelmingly, cultural consensus on fox animal symbolism deals with cunning, strategy, quick thinking, adaptability, cleverness and wisdom. The Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom.”


Urban foxes have been in our community for a long time. It’s just that I’ve never seen one – until now, when we locked eyes for that moment.

I’m choosing to believe that she’s guiding me toward my wildness. I feel blessed.

Blessed by a fox.