Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What Wings Are For...

"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings." ~ William Blake

I was about a mile down the trail when a woman approached, wearing a "California State Parks" jacket.

"Did you see the bald eagle?" she asked, her binoculars in hand.

I never bring my binoculars on my walks anymore. I prefer my Nature the natural way - up close and personal. Why I took the binoculars this morning, I really couldn't say, but in my rush out the door, I just knew I had to grab them.

She was also in a rush. She said she had never been to Oregon, and she had to check out of her hotel soon. But she had heard there were eagles here, so she had made a special stop.

And sure enough, even without binoculars, there it was, quietly sitting on a branch. From the stark jaggedness of where it perched, one might think it was a vulture.

I have seen the eagles before, but not every day. When they fly above my head, it is always a miracle. My life is filled with miracles lately, and eagles seem to follow.

And then the woman had to run. I asked her if she had seen the forest. "No."

My sacred forest is a magical place, somewhat like the entrance into Narnia. It doesn't look like much at first until you wander in. It was not something to be missed, even for 5 minutes. And so she hastened off, eager to stop by the forest, leaving me alone.

This time I needed binoculars. Yes, there it was. The eagle. Still as could be. Always distinctive, always impressive, the white contrasting with the black, without a doubt an eagle. I could have stood there and enjoyed that view for hours. Nothing moved.

I shifted my view to the nest. I had seen it many times, far too distant to make out any real details. But I had my binoculars today. I had listened...

And to my surprise, there it was. The baby eagle appeared in the nest, staying safely inside, yet tentatively stretching out and testing its beautiful wings. It was a kind of an awakening, as if easing into knowing just what wings are for. My eyes filled with tears, understanding...

And then I saw her, on a branch below, yet another. "Are You My Mother?" came to mind, a favorite long ago. Was she guarding? Or showing the way? When would her baby fly?

The moment was sacred, as if frozen in time, until I thought to reach for my camera. By the time I had it ready, the baby was suddenly up on a branch. How did it get there? Did it walk? Did it climb? Did it jump? Or did it Fly? The mother knows...

Look closely....yes, there are 3...this is the best my little phone could do...yet perfect.

Photo Copyright Susan Larison Danz, 2014

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