Apr 21, 2020

The Howl: A Welcome Sound of Solidarity


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In Italy, they sing in solidarity. In Denver, they howl. Every night at 8:00 PM the people of the Mile High City stand on their balconies, front porches and patios and howl in community.

They howl for the hospital workers, in primal expression of gratitude. They howl to blow off steam. They howl to laugh. They howl to cry. They howl in solidarity, to hear howls in reply, an ancient reminder that we are part of a tribe. Maybe it takes a crisis to remind us of the ties that bind.

Last summer, I did an early morning hike to Cathedral Lake up in Aspen, Colorado with my two sons. It’s a steep five-mile hike up to the lake and doing it at first light gave us the opportunity to watch the sun come up. We saw three moose, climbed past half a dozen major avalanche debris fields and made it to the lake at about 8:00 in the morning, the first to arrive—totally worth the early morning departure. Surrounded by high mountain peaks, fields of wild flowers and willow tangles, Cathedral Lake leaves one breathless and speechless. 

In the beauty of that summer moment something magical happened. A howl shattered the silence. A coyote’s howl, yipping away at the top of his (or her) lungs. It could have been a warning to human interlopers. A celebration of a hunt. Or simply the joy of howling. That coyote’s howl was electric. It bounced from mountain peak to mountain peak in the most perfect echo, reverberating into the distance. Twice the coyote howled and we stood there completely motionless, in awe, because we knew we were witnessing something beautiful and primal, together.

Healing Through The Howl.

Somehow, howling seems like the right thing to do as we face the Groundhog Day malaise that the virus has cloaked around our lives. I for one am beginning to howl back at it. And I invite you to join me. 8:00 PM. Tonight. Go outside and let it rip. Your neighbors may call the cops or look at you sideways, but if you keep doing it night after night, I’m guessing that they might join in. Because we could all use a little release and relief right now. 

It’s a strange, strange time. It can be lonely. Isolating. We’re all trying to cope. In my family we’re exercising a lot, eating too many double stuffed Oreos, stealing away to fish on the weekends, cooking up a storm, playing a lot of board games and Zooming away with friends and loved ones.

Inside, I think everyone is struggling to some extent with the uncertainty of these times. Some of us have lost loved ones. Others jobs. It’s been hard. It might get harder. So tonight, please howl with me. Join in. Even if it’s just you and the dog.. That’s a start. Be part of the human pack and know, as my late father often said, “this too shall pass.”


Peter Murane is the CEO and Chairman of BrandJuice.

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