The Howling Man

“the song of a wolf, rise in the twilight stillness and spread through the emptiness of the desert evening. One long and prolonged, deep and dangerous, wild archaic howl, rising and rising and rising on the quiet air.”

– Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang

Today while out the hiking trail, I was sitting at the hut perched up along the National Trail, on South Mountain in Phoenix.

It’s Monday and I have the day off and was looking forward to trails being mainly empty on this surprisingly cool summer day here in Phoenix.

This spot overlooks two other trails laid out below. From this vantage point, I could see the hikers below and in this case, hear one particular hiker.

It began by hearing him talking to his other hiking partner. His loud voice, radiated happiness as he ridiculed himself for having sweat in his eyes which was stinging him.

Every so often I saw him stop to wipe his eyes and then happily move on with a little skip in his walk.

As he began approaching the end of the trail, the louder and clearer he became as his echo vibrated stronger off the canyon walls.

He was feeling that hiking high and assuming no one was around to hear him.

With a little crackle he gave his first attempt of roaring a “woooo” sound.

You know the “woooo” sound, like a fun yell you would give at a concert.

The “woooo” that tells other you are having the best time of your life while releasing out any negative energy you are holding within.

That “woooo” sound that once made, makes your soul feel at ease.

He cleared his throat and let out his second attempt. This “woooo” was a little louder…but lacked energy.

He then abruptly stopped and with a mighty force that involved stiffing up his own body and then pushing this robust “woooo” right out from the depth of his lungs.

The long-lasting out roar of the ultimate release, poured out onto the silent and still desert. Even the birds dare not chirp.

It’s a powerful moment to witness. And even more powerful to realize that nature created the release within him.

There’s a silent power in nature that fully awakens our souls. Everyone deserves to let out a howl now and again.

Have you howled lately?

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