Birds Flying in High Winds

Living in the forest and watching nature on a daily basis, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of birds in flight. I’ve noticed that, generally speaking, when there are high winds (which are frequent when one lives at the mouth of a gorge) there is rarely a bird in the sky. But on occasion, there is.

Today there were high, high winds – the tops of the fir trees danced about, while the lower branches were as still as on a bucolic spring afternoon. I saw a raven plying these heavy winds, and wondered, how will he get to where he wants to be if the wind is blowing in a different direction from his destination stronger than his wings can prevail?

He happened to be at some distance and I was able to watch his progress across the big sky.

Here is what I saw – The raven beat his wings a bit, pointing north. Then he’d glide, letting the wind, which was driving just about due west, take over. The raven’s flight would be taken west. Then he’d point north and beat his wings, and then glide with the wind taking him due west. In this stair-step fashion, he made his way across the sky. When he got to my forest, he settled in the tallest tree. Behind him I watched as several of his companions performed the same exercises of flight, and they had a meetup in the big tree.

Nature can be very accommodating in providing us with visual examples of the lessons we might learn. Beat your wings a bit to keep your heading, but mostly allow yourself to use the winds of life to provide forward motion in the direction you mean to go. Fighting the winds one will never get to goal. Employ the winds, and you’ll soon be in your favorite tree, chatting with your companions.

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Owl Be Seeing You

I go to a dream group twice a month, and thank goodness too, because that’s where I get my centering, my balance, my clarity about what’s going on in the so-called “real world” by the insights my guru dream partners share with me.

Interestingly, I frequently have luminous, numinous experiences on my drive back home after these often late-into-the-night meetings. The first meeting in January was one such occasion. As I drove down the little road that leads to my home, the moon bright in a cold, clear sky, myself deep in thought, I was startled by a gigantic bird flying directly in front of my headlights, at headlight level.

I immediately realized it was huge owl, and I stopped, having seen it land in the leafless Alder beside the road. I peered up. There the owl sat on a low branch, inside the light of my headlights, as if he knew he would come to no harm from me. I looked at him, awe-struck. Owl-struck. Having never seen an owl so open and nonchalant in my entire life, I dared to slowly get out of my car and approach the tree. The owl watched me, his head moving smoothly on it ball-bearings, around, around, keeping his eyes on me.

When I stood a mere five feet from him him I said, “Well… what?

He studied me for a few moments longer, perhaps trying to give me the answer… the “WHAT” of it all.

Then slowly, with a graceful bow of the the tree branch, he rose, lazily sweeping his gigantic, stunning wings through the new year air, disappearing among the trees of the forest.

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day – and Happy Birthday to my Father today!

I cat sat & dog sat for my friends while they took a day off to run up to Seattle.

The dog and I went on a delightful walk last night, watching the rushing white-water stream, all roiled up in the wake of two months of rain every day. Lovely companionship with the Mitra dog, who appears to find everything equally as enchanting as I do. She and I chatted with the naiads sitting on the big rocks while the water crashed around them.

Back up at the house, a couple of throws of the frisbee, and then a paw drying session (for Mitra. I didn’t need one, having worn shoes).

On our walk this morning, however, Mitra did not find my fascination of the giant red slug nearly as interesting as eating grass. She grazed like a little cow on the tall, wet grass while I studied the amazing grace of the slug trailing its hermaphrodite body across the winding driveway, moving on invisible ball bearings.

Quite intriguing…

Back up at the house, a couple of frisbee throws, a drying of the paws and then, back inside to tell the cat of our adventures.

Who completely forbore listening to us, having discovered a moth to make soft muttery sounds to on the other side of the window.

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Ides of May & the First Swainsen’s Thrush

It’s been a very busy time of late. But what inspires me to write now, finally! is hat late yesterday evening, as the shades of dusk were pulled, I finally heard the First Swainsen’s Thrush of the season.

All through winter I wait for the return of this unassuming little brown bird with the magical call from another dimension. All previous beautiful sounds fall away as if nothing in the wake of this lilting, haunting call, echoing through the forest in the evening and, sometimes, in the early morning.

It makes me feel that all, perhaps, could be right with the world. Even if it’s not right now, I have faith!

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Because pH balance is so important to your health and the health of the planet, I read everything I could get my hands on and distilled it down to this one very easy to read and understand book that truly could contribute to saving your life or the life of someone you love.

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My Winter Forest

Almost 7:30 a.m. The light steals very, very shyly about the forest… winter light begins to reclaim its dominion earlier and earlier.

The sky edges away from a color not found on any palate… a kind of black-purple-blue, tinged with green. It fades and fades, until the predawn light rolls in, and all becomes familiar as the keys to the Kingdom of Light are handed over to the day.

The rain that has steadily fallen all night has stopped, and the remaining drops play a slow syncopation off the gutters and deck, a patient metronome.

I hear the river rushing several hundred feet distant, I see in my mind’s eye the river rocks becoming polished… incomparable coins in the river bed, each unique. They lay at the bottom of the clear, rushing water, watching the sun and moon and stars, a clock face, above.

Song birds look for their reflection in the little pools that eddy along the side of the hurrying water, while the stealthy coyotes come to the water’s edge, looking over their shoulders. Always pursuers, always pursued. One by one they lean down to drink the cold, cheerful water while a sentry keeps watch.

This is my winter forest.

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Barking Birds

I inexplicably awake a few minutes before three a.m., and step outside. It’s as still as a stage during the night between performances. Entangled among the fir trees, the moon — near full in a clear sky — shines, an alabaster globe, casting a light among the branches that falls upon the ground in great sheets of lace.

I stand, small and quiet, bathed in the alabaster light, until I, too, become an alabaster being. A tableau of beauty apart from the ordinary, the clever moon possesses the night. She is a lesser god, creating silhouette vignettes from borrowed light, as if the very echo of “let there be light” is captured by her, so she too might create a world, in bas relief and black and white.

Rapt in a silken night, I listen to a tiny screech owl in a nearby tree, and another, several trees distant, replying.

Then I hear another sound, like a soft and gentle dog’s bark — as if a dog were dreaming this exact same pristine scene. But the sound comes from overhead. The intermittent bird call moves off to the north, then comes another. Then a third and a fourth, the quiet calls emerge from just below the tree line. They — whatever sort of bird they are — are spaced about a hundred feet apart, gently barking to one another in the deep well of night, companionably together, even with the distance between them. They sail the night sky, bathed in moonlight, nocturnally trekking. I imagine them settling, finally, to sleep in trees or upon a lake before the sunrise.

“Take me with you,” my heart calls out. Instead, the glorious night falls into complete and utter silence. I turn and go back to my own bed, not so far distant, and curl up with the cat.