Perceptions of Spring – V:  Big Birds

First there was the Turkey vulture.

Me: <a sharp intake of breath as the shadow flashes over> “Oh! Hey, Turkey vulture! Look Tess!”
Tess: <she looks up, says nothing, watches it>
Me: “Wow, you're beautiful!”
We stare at it, soaring low and back-lit by sunlight, its silvery-white flight feathers dazzling in contrast to the black “T” of its body. It disappears behind the treetops, and we walk on down the hill.

Next there was the owl.

Me: <pulls on the leash to stop Tess, takes off sunglasses to get a better look> “Oh my gosh. Stay, Tess!” 
Tess: <sniffs the snow, oblivious>
Me: <quietly ties Tess to the stop sign, then tiptoes across the road
Barred owl: <swivels its head towards me, then silently lifts off the snow into the woods behind>
Me: “Oh! Thank you!” <looks puzzled> “Why were you here?”
I walk to where the large bird had been, just over the shoulder of the road. No sign of injury, or a dead rodent. Its appearance remains a mystery.

     Tess and I walk on through this beautiful blue-sky March day. There will be another bird, I think. I feel that the first two have been gifts, and indeed I needed them to help me out of the trough that I had written myself into this weekend. Nothing cures an overdose of introspection like a good long walk outside with your dog.
     In town, we watch the train rumble slowly through the crossing, a horse-drawn carriage clatter by declaring “Bridal Show” on its backside, and a dad playing catch in a sandy parking lot with his two boys. Twice we run into old friends also out for a walk. This is what happens in spring in Maine.
     The final stretch of our loop passes close to a tidal river. That's where I see it: a Common merganser streaking through the sparkling water parallel to us. The third bird.

Doug Brozovsky photo: www.imagesbydougb.com
     I believe that spirit connects us all, that we exist in a great pool of spirit kind of like the way fish live in water. We are held in stillness, connected by the ripples of our movements, caressed, tumbled through rapids, fed; we breathe spirit; and we often forget that it is there.  Today, I had reminders.
<I thank the merganser, and Tess and I walk home.>