Susan Barnett’s first howl

I started howling last night. I heard that there are folks in my old home town of Woodstock who go outside at 8 p.m. each night and howl.

We are too far out in the country for any applause I might offer to healthcare workers be received. So instead I howled in solidarity with our community.

I live in the hills of the western Catskills. Our farmhouse is perched on a hill about a mile outside of town. That hill dips into a valley through which the wind and weather rush like bullet trains. So my howl was carried on a howling wind. That feels appropriate.


My first howl was last night. I felt a little silly, I confess. But once I threw back my head and howled, I understood why the coyotes howl together each night. I heard my neighbor down the hill banging a pan and howling, too. We sang our fear, our hope, our anxiety – we sang our frustration, our strength, and we sang our common humanity.

It was a beautiful sound.

 I will howl again tonight, and every night I can. It helps.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.