There is a myth that the wolf is a solitary creature.
Wolves live in packs. There is a hierarchy, sure, but the pack life is life. There is the breeding pair — boss man and boss lady, mom and pop — who are at the top of the heap, large and in charge. There is also an omega, who is the least member of the pack. The omega can be male or female and is described by some as the scapegoat who lives on the outskirts of the pack territory and eats last.
When a wolf is old enough to mate, it takes off, away from the family of origin. The idea of the ‘lone wolf’ conjures auditory images of a wolf, howling alone in the dark, moonlit night. That single wolf is seeking a mate to answer, another who is alone in the dark. If it is to be, those two join as a new breeding pair, find their own territory, and begin creating a new pack.
Yet in human society, many are we who are pack-less wolves.
Sure, we join, share space, and become a breeding pair. But there are those situations where the offspring leave before mating age (or are taken away), the breeding partner relationship isn’t for life through separation and/or divorce. In other words, the pack is broken apart in some way.
A pack-less wolf spends much of its time, howling in search of someone to understand why it is alone.
Or it doesn’t, instead opting to remain silent in its pain.
Or it does, yet there is little understanding of, care about, or empathy for its plight.
Pack-less wolves have bruised hearts from the times when they allowed another to hold this most precious organ, trusting that other wouldn’t squeeze and crush away life, only to find just the opposite. The bruises are deep, difficult to heal, creating damage elsewhere within the system and psyche.
The hurt and loss makes pack-less wolves more likely to bite before warning.
Yet and still, a pack-less wolf is still a wolf. It is gentle when treated properly, when allowed to thrive and heal after loving invitation and welcome.
To be a pack-less wolf is to long for that which you recall in your deepest memories of the time-before-time, wondering if you’ll ever find it in the now-time.
Such a wolf struggles daily to survive.
And that struggle and desire is what keeps us up at night: if you see one of us through the window washing dishes in the wee hours, understand such is the lot for a pack-less wolf in human form.