Friday, December 2, 2011

The Gray Wolf Amassador in Wyoming (The Oprah Magazine)

Polly Brewster
Photo: Coral Von Zumwalt
She left her boyfriend, lost her job, then followed her heart to Wyoming, where gray wolves, a species fighting its own battles in the American wilderness, spoke to her soul. And she responded with a resounding howl.

A little after midnight, I woke up in a rented vacation condo in Colorado at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. My boyfriend of two and a half years slept soundly next to me. I was 27 years old and not sure whether I still loved him.

I wanted some air. I opened the window and saw what I first thought was a large husky darting beneath the ledge. Then I realized it was something else.

"Get up," I said to my boyfriend. "Get up; I think it's a wolf." He didn't stir.

The wolf stopped in his tracks. I followed his line of sight until I noticed a smaller wolf, a female. He trotted toward her and they met, jumping into the air, pawing madly at each other and then nuzzling and touching noses. As they ran off in lockstep, their fur glistening like strands of silver in the moonlight, I knew I would break up with my boyfriend.

It felt as if the wolves had come for me; I had never seen something so spectacular at just the right moment—and I knew that someday I'd go to them.

Three years later, in the summer of 2009, I went to Wyoming to see my parents at their small vacation condo in Jackson Hole. One day I overheard my mother's friend mention that she was going wolf-watching, and I insisted on joining her.

"I don't know if we'll have enough scopes," she said.

"I'll find one," I said.


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