We saw a wolf once.
We were standing by a remote river on Vancouver Island when one appeared on a
gravel bank across the water.
At first we thought it might be someone’s dog.
Not that there was anyone around.
We waited for a human call or footsteps but none came.
We looked closer. Its feet were large. Its ears more pointed. It was a wolf.
This took only a few seconds. It looked at us and then it was gone.
Into the trees and underbrush.
We were so unsure of what we had seen that we went home and looked it up, to see if wolves even existed on Vancouver Island anymore.
It said yes but very few.
We had been lucky but not lucky enough to get a photograph.
Its presence in my mind is almost more vivid from not having proof.
The moment more special in its brevity.
On this last trip I read the book ‘Following The Last Wild Wolves’ by Ian McAllister.
The book was a gift from my husband, for my birthday in June.
I had saved it for our camping trip.
I have found that reading a book in the right place can boost the experience.
Other books that I have read while camping are The Golden Spruce by John Valliant and Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. These have become some of my favourites.
Of course I chose them for taking away with me because I knew they held that potential.
But back to the wolves.
‘Following The Last Wild Wolves’ is a book that follows an intimate study of coastal wolves in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. It is broken down into the seasons and describes the authors interactions with the wolves during the study while discussing some of the threats to these creatures existence. It is a beautiful book written with the tenderness of someone who fully admires and respects the wolf and its role in the ecosystem. The pictures are amazing and the afterword, written several years after the original publication, is heartbreaking.
I think it is important to share these books. The ones that are not sitting on bestseller shelves but contain important tales. The author has had experiences I will never have, but knowing what he has learned gives me a greater admiration for this wonderful place in which I live. In particular we should be sharing these stories with our young people so that they grow up in awe rather than fear.