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The Night of the Coyotes and the Angel Wind
Sandi Kimmel

On a trip out west not too long ago, my friend Beddy and I decided to see if there was any truth to the rumor that Sedona, Arizona is a great place to watch UFOs. We discussed a likely viewing spot, high on a ridge overlooking all of creation.

We got into the rental car with a mix of excitement and trepidation, though we only let the excitement show. Turning left to head up to the ridge, shivers of thrill ran through us. The night was spectacular with a full moon rising over the red rocks, a deep indigo sky speckled with stars.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a coyote appeared in the middle of the road. Blinking in the headlights, it looked straight at us. Minutes passed, but the coyote wouldn't get out of our way. It started pacing back and forth in front of the car, preventing us from continuing up the hill. It would cross one way, look back at us, change direction and look again. It zigzagged and stopped, over and over again.

We decided it was a sign, and turned the car around. We were still determined to get up to the top of the ridge so we looped all the way around and approached it from another direction. Of course, we soon found out that the coyote was right to try to keep us from our destination. Because once we got there, we got out of the car to watch for any suspicious flying objects, but by then the moon had risen and was so bright we could have read a newspaper by moonlight! Which made it impossible to see the sky, or even any of the millions of stars in the Western sky. We laughed at ourselves in this funny situation and headed back down.

Undaunted and giggling, we decided to go to a darker part of the wilderness and made our way to a creek we'd found the day before. It was really, really dark in the woods and the dirt road was unforgiving. Though neither of us wanted to admit defeat, we were both feeling uncomfortable about going on.

Just then, we heard the wild yelping and yapping of what sounded like a hundred coyotes. I stopped the car to listen. The noise stopped as soon as the car did. I let the car roll forward and the barking and howling started again. I stopped again and shut off the motor and the headlights. All was quiet for a few minutes and without warning, they started up again twice as loud as they'd been before. We couldn't see them and it sounded like they were both inches away and miles away at the same time.

And then it fell quiet, eerily so. Nothing moved. We could hear our own breathing and the faint thumping of our heartbeats. The windows were rolled down and the stillness was unlike any I'd ever experienced.

Beddy noticed it first. The tree to the left of the car was dancing in a wind. But there was no wind. No other tree stirred, no other blade of grass waved. The tree looked exactly like an angel and her upturned branches swayed in rhythm like a goddess in trance. Then we felt it, a whisper of a wind gently blowing into the car. And our angel tree danced for an hour, only for us.

We knew we were in the right place at the right time. We knew we were experiencing a moment we'd remember for the rest of our lives. We knew we were blessed and safe, guided and protected, and very loved.

We drove back in silence, knowing that we had just experienced God's love in a most personal and profound way. Even now, whenever I doubt or feel fear, I only need to recall the feel of the breeze flowing through the window as the angel tree danced and danced and danced in the warm night air.

�2000 Sandi Kimmel of Music Healer