After the last virtual city council meeting I stepped outside at 8 p.m. to join the howl. After being glued to the computer screen for two hours it was so liberating to be greeted by a gorgeous mountain sunset with the skies ablaze in pink and blue colors. For those of you who have not tried it yet, the howling community invites you to lift your voice and howl with your neighbors. Howl to celebrate our frontline heroes whether they work in health care or by providing us with essential services.
Healthcare or grocery store workers were not thinking about a pandemic when they signed up. Yet every day they put themselves at risk to serve their community. I would encourage everyone to focus on people you especially admire and howl to honor and respect them. This shared purpose might be the most meaningful aspect of the howl.
Crises can bring out the best or worst in people. I am so grateful to live in a community where COVID-19 has brought out the best in most residents. We are so fortunate to have neighbors who have really stepped up and are focused on others’ wellbeing.
The howl allows us to be with others while still practicing social distancing. I am not naturally that social and find the pack instinct thrilling. How do people simply tip their head back, open their mouth, and let loose a howl they had no idea existed in them? I was shocked by my own howl. It was so fun, animalistic, powerful, and freeing. I was self-conscious about trying and so happy that I did. During such troubled times, it is so important to find healthy outlets to help release the fear and uncertainty so many of us live with every day.
The howl allows us to become absorbed in the moment and feel completely alive. As we hear the howls rise and fall all around us, we join our community and our pack while being fully present. It made me beam with pride for Ward 3. It made me feel a sense of community unlike any I have ever experienced. Just so no one feels left out I will add that I heard some very impressive howling when I went downtown recently to pick up a pizza!
If there is to be a competition amongst us, let it be which Ward howls the longest, the loudest, and the most passionately. Let’s set aside politics and connect as fellow humans. Let’s focus on supporting our businesses and neighbors as we work towards emerging from this crisis.
When we howl it helps us to release all the frustrations that build during the day. We have all had to adjust to a new normal. Many of us are not used to spending so much time with our significant others and yearn for more space. When we howl it allows us to slow down and breathe. While in concert with our neighbors we remember we have more in common than we have differences, and that we all love our families and want to ensure their safety.
When you are howling, allow people plenty of space; literally and musically. Lose yourself in the moment. Celebrate the night. Celebrate how far we have come since the Black Plague wiped out 25% of the world’s population. Celebrate all the people working tirelessly on our behalf. Above all celebrate life!
Councilwoman Alisa Pappenfort