Monday, June 12, 2006

Eagles and Beagles

The girls and I were sitting on the back porch rocking in the log rockers when we spotted a huge eagle soaring overhead in the southern sky. What a glorious sight! He soared, turned, made a loop and flew over the giant silver maples up to the northern sky. We watched him glide on the air currents with his wide wings carrying him to some tall old Douglas firs where he landed.

Such a graceful creature! It's not a common occurrence to see such large hawks or eagles when here in town. We see littler ones now and then. I think they go after the (shudder) squirrels. We see majestic birds of prey in the Cascades when we go up there, but here, from our porch, well, it was one of those special moments.

Sammy, our beagle, was in the back yard, too. He had been snooping out squirrels as they scampered along the fence pickets chattering and taunting him on their way to the trees or the feeder. When the eagle flew overhead Sammy froze and gazed up at it in seeming wonder. He followed it along with us until he could see it no more. He was very very alert and interested in that big bird. It was almost as if he experienced awe.

I know WE did.

I always think of John Denver when I see eagles and hawks and his song goes through my head.

"Come dance with the west wind
And touch on the mountaintops,
Sail o'er the canyons and up to the stars!
And reach for the heavens
And hope for the future,
And all that we can be
Not just what we are."

How much I appreciate words which can express thoughts in times of inspiration!

The girls and I had one of those 'stop time,' 'freeze the moment' sort of encounters. Refreshing. All because God directed a mighty bird to fly overhead just when we were out there to see him.

Thanks, God!

(In case you are wondering, this picture of the eagle is one I took in Sitka, Alaska. I didn't have my camera with me yesterday and didn't want to miss the 'show' to run into the house to fetch it.)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Squirrels and Sentiments

Taken from our living room, with a bit of glare from the window, this photo shows part of the five member squirrel family that is nesting in our front yard Thunder Cloud Plum tree. There are three little babies, though only two are in this photo with their watchful mommy. The babies are so cute, and vulnerable. That mother squirrel diligently keeps them in line, though they are full of energy and push the envelope of safety often. Sammy, our beagle, has allowed them the freedom to inhabit 'his' yard. In fact, we've seen him vigorously chase off any hostiles that threaten the little family, mostly cats.

We have a squirrel feeder which also attracts all sorts of pretty birds. With bird flu 'out there' we are grateful for the times when it's safe to feed the birds. We suppose one day prudence may cause us to stop filling the feeder. For now, we have blue birds who snatch up the pieces of corn and, in order to bust them open, whack them repeatedly on the fence, which sounds like someone rapping knuckles on the wood. It wakes us up in the morning, at just the right time. (Well, Swing Shift Tom may not agree......:-)

The wildlife in our yard keep us entertained, for free!

This weekend our family experienced one of those blessings in disguise where the disguise drops suddenly. From it we have become reassured of the joyfulness of being part of a healthy community. The freely offered support of local friends, in the face of great pain, has made the pain favorable, for without it the knowledge of just how deep and true the friendships are would not have been known. Some of the people who sympathized were people whose kindness we expected, for the friendships are noticeably close. But there was also an outpouring of love and energetic true support from people whose care and concern were not so apparent before. It was our trauma that brought out the communication of that connection.

The love these people have for us, and we for them, goes way deep. Way way deep. And when the expression of it was needed, it flowed out of folks without thought. The kindness worked its magic, soothing like a balm.

Without the sorrow, the connection would probably have remained under the surface.

We humans can be daft sometimes, assuming people can read our minds. Maybe we're just too shy or busy to express the love and admiration we have for one another. We keep things under the surface. We keep to ourselves. We comment our good will to others, but seldom directly to the person who needs to hear it.

Enter pain. Enter sorrow. Enter vulnerability.

Outpourings of unrestrained care follow.

When confronted with pain and loss we rejoice for what we have found!