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Howling Under Bridges

Updated on December 31, 2016
Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama/Karen is a joyfully home-schooling parent who holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Elementary Education.

Our favorite places to howl

silvery moonlight ripe for howling at from anywhere
silvery moonlight ripe for howling at from anywhere | Source
bridge to imagination
bridge to imagination | Source
canopy of leaves reflected in water
canopy of leaves reflected in water | Source

Howling is a Prayer of Thanks to the Earth

My daughter loves howling as she walks under bridges, intrigued by the echoes that sing back to her. She stops walking for a moment, howls, and then listens for the echo, which is often magnified by the water of the Muddy River running beside us. I howl along with her, and often our howling matches don't end right after we've walked out from under the bridge, to meander underneath the canopy of leafy tree branches above the greenway path we love to explore. Sometimes people walking on the other side of the river howl along with us, and we wave to each other as we match howl for howl: "Ow-ow-owooooooo!"

Reaching Out to Others with a Howl ~

As described above, those who might begin as strangers have made a connection to one another through the expressiveness of howling. This demonstrates the inherent purpose of howling - to communicate. Wolves and other wild canine creatures that howl do so in order to communicate with others in their pack. They tell each other where to find prey, or where to meet after a hunt. Sometimes they howl for the pure need for expression - deeply primal expression. They are responding to the energy of the earth, especially when the moon is full and affects the magnetic pull on the tides. Perhaps it is a prayer that they offer in their howling, thanking nature for providing for their needs.

Join a wolf in the wild...

One Wolf Howls (Arbordale Collection)
One Wolf Howls (Arbordale Collection)
A children's book that invites readers to learn more about the world of wolves.

Bridging our Divergent Natures ~

Humans find it fun to greet each other in such a primal fashion, and the impetus to respond in kind is natural. Joining in the sound, and in the fun of making it, is a very human response. It is a break from all of the formal civility that is expected of us in our societal relations. Our animal nature grows weary of the restraints put upon it by our rules for social interaction with one another. It often demands expression, and at the same time we let that happen we explore our spiritual connection to each other, and to the animal kingdom.

The Science of Howling

My daughter and I keep howling because once we've begun, it is often challenging to stop. It's a fun thing to do, and easy to do together. Like a mother wolf teaches her pups to howl, I have taught my daughter "pup" to howl, so that we can do so as a form of play with one another. It is a great way to explore the science of sound with young people: vocal language, types of spaces conducive to echoes, and the sound conductivity of water. It is definitely a great exercise for home-schooling parents to do with their young children.

The Art of Howling

There are so many things one can howl about, and it can be done with lots of different attitudes - bold, meek, romantic, etc...Day or night...full moon or new. Any time is a great time to howl, especially where it can be magnified and travel back to you, and others can join in. Howling under bridges is a good place to start, but caves are also a good place to howl. Howling to friends and family around the house could be a way to pass a rainy day.

Howling to familiar simple tunes is a fun type of music to make. Howling someone's name could be a worthy challenge to tackle. Howling alone and howling with friends are equally entertaining, for each brings its own type of satisfaction.

No matter how you do it, happy howling to you!

© 2011 Karen A Szklany


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