Passing Close By Nature
What is it about close passes with nature, with life in that wild form, the one which so enthralls us that such memories are ours forever? There was the robin that stood at my feet while I raked leaves the other day, just standing there a foot away looking at me, walking along with me like two old friends. Why was that so quieting, so inclusive? I thought.
Then there was the snowy owl of years gone by, who sat just 2 yards away on a fence post as I leaned on the top rail. He screwed his head in their 180 degree twist peering at me, every feather gleaming, white as the snow that lay at our feet. Me, I wondered, How do they stay so clean and polished-looking? He, uncluttered by thought, bored that fierce golden glow of those eyes into me like a burning brand, not a hint of concern dimming their wattage. Power, was what I thought next, what power comes from having no doubts.
One morning at the far end of our farm where the land had forgotten it had been tamed by cultivation and boldly merged with the neighboring bush, its headland dotted with small trees taking back their domain, it happened again. That time the liaison was with a daddy Black bear lumbering along the bank across our narrow creek. We saw each other at the same instant, me frozen in my tracks; he rising up on his hind legs, staring. As my eyes cast about the once burnt off landscape at trees no thicker than my wrist, I remember distinctly what I thought, Oh… shit. Maybe he wasn’t hungry. Maybe he felt no threat from me. Maybe that is the more natural response of the wild world—to live and let live. When he dropped to the ground, padded to the creek’s edge and slid in, then I sensed his utter comfortableness with his place in life. Wow, I thought, what would it be like to live like that?
Never have I seen in the wild something to which I attached the word ugly, or boring, or unkind, or useless. Interesting, eh? Have you too, from time-to-time, felt like the outlander in a world where all other life forms fit so neatly? Perhaps that explains the depth of the haunting memories our fellow brothers and sister of nature stir up in us when we pass close by, near enough to hear the siren song of their unencumbered, untroubled spirits. Do you recall a personal encounter with nature which amazes you still? Come share it so we can all get closer.
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