"You will find out about it just in time...
Make your sun come out and let it shine..."
Close Encounters of the 'bird' kind.
I'm not quite sure just what it is about the sunrises and sunsets here in the Carolinas'. They are, far and away, among the most spectacular I've seen anywhere in the world. And so frequently; especially in the Fall.
This morning was an exquisite one, as I rolled out for a 4 mile run.
Ideal running conditions ... again. I do like running in the heat but it is also nice for transitioning out of the heavy, sweaty...soak-the-shoes season... at least for the next five or six months. The I-pod headphones don't swim in my ears after mile 1 and every piece of fabric I'm wearing no longer clings to every part of my body. More clothes to launder with winter running, but hey, it's all trade-offs!
Finishing up in the brisk, clear air...nearing the 3.5 mile point where the usual downhill says' 'almost home', I opted for a right hand turn onto the creek trail. Add a half mile and a couple little hills and enjoy the sights and sounds of the rock-studded stream as I wind my way along it on the gravel path;
...now nicely padded with fallen leaves of all sizes and shapes. A few maple leaves strung up in spider silk seemingly dancing in mid-air. To the sides and over-head; russets and crimson, brilliantine oranges and soft, matte yellows... a virtual Crayola color-wheel of tints and hues against the azure blue roof.
Cruising along... noting a couple new 4" trees; perfectly felled into the creek by the beaver I've yet to see, but clearly aware of...
When there came...a fluttering and ruffled sound... out of the ordinary.
A big black feathery winged 'something' lifts up off the creek bank and hovers, spins, twists...FLUFFFS... and comes to rest a short distance down the creek; On a tree limb hanging over the water.
I stop. (runners my age can do that)
What is THAT?
Through a maze of branches and leaves I peer through, and it's looking at me too. Head bobbing...neck extending...cocking left and right... back and forth. Trying to make me out...
And there we were; two creatures attempting to get a better view of each other.
I moved forward a few steps to get a better vantage and it shuffles along the 3 " thick branch sort of clumsily. I remark to myself...This bird is probably better in the air.
I'm staring at a Turkey Vulture (I'm pretty sure. I do know that they are a protected species here in the Carolinas). Imagine a monster, mutant Raven on steroids. She's a big bird. What's she doing hanging out on the creek? I've never seen one down here...after a couple hundred creek runs. So this is a first. And we are still eyeing each other.
Surprisingly, it continued the stare-down with me. I focused on relaxing my body posture. Stilled my mind and let things get 'real'. Hard to do but I felt I succeeded somewhat. Seemed she did, too.
For a second or three...time stopped.
Slowly, in my best Steve Irwin stride, I moved down the path about 20 feet. She, in her best Dumbo the Elephant imitation bounced up off the branch and elevated to a higher perch that was not intended for her size. Looked she was actually going to fall of the little twig. A comic are you? Or a klutz?
It took her a moment to gain her balance; flapping and using her beak and talons to stabilize herself best she could. Ha ha... exceptional to watch animals have a bit of cartoon behavior once in a while...I sensed she realized I was chuckling at her.
Maybe she's a juvenile? Probably, I concluded. She turned her head funny at me.
God knew I was enjoying the connection. The blessing. Could I be getting through to her? And just what might that be? Hey...We're all connected?
And ok... I sort of tipple like that on occasion when my foot get's caught pulling on my skivvies...
(Especially when someone moves the opening!!!)
My running has taught me a number of valuable life-lessons; among which is the ability to stop; literally and smell the mimosas... especially here. It took me a while to get the ego in the right place but I practiced stopping and finally got good at it. It was being affirmed, this morning. Again.
Yes; stop and smile at the Turkey Vultures when the opportunity presents itself, too. You never know.
Ok... reality check, Gary, I finally thought, mind coming back into play. Conference call to place in 30 minutes. So back into an easy jog, I continued along the trail that winds back to my home.
Thought about looking back but realized I did not have the need to. I felt no sense of issuing a farewell. There was a timelessness to the encounter that was more a continuation than something new, or old, for that matter. I did not choose to peer backward because I noticed myself choosing to look forward... to some kind of eternal desire... and a sense of an eternal recurrence of something much more principled than my current challenges and short-comings...
Yes; timeless. And principled.
I finish with a little stretch down the street and cul-de-sac that run alongside my townhome. In the ear buds...the last chorus of Chicago's 'Caroline' have me flowing with magic that transcends decibels and megahertz.
I hear it as Caroline-a... a personalization applied by me...making it unique and special. I started doing that well before I came down here...While I was still listening to that up Minnesota way. Modified it in my mind and made it one of my 'Moving forward' anthems. Helped me get ready for a big transition... Possibly, THE big transition.
-Perfect timing.. I was in need of that motivation and inspiration... to keep moving forward... through catalytic cycles...acknowledging and embracing it all as Universal good. Working on it, anyway.
"And you know... it aint easy...
so Girl you got to let it go..."
Everything will be just fine"
... something from behind...?
...from behind... whiiiifffftttttt... 50 feet above...
a bird soars over...and then ahead of me.
a bird soars over...and then ahead of me.
A BIG BLACK bird...
"You can work it out this time
you will find out about it just in time..."
THAT big black bird.
I know that bird. What the...?
She followed me?
She floated with ease over the empty field in front of my home. I stood and watched with the morning sun at my back.. She lifted up over the tree line at the end of the field and made a lazy right bank a short distance to the bend in the creek where we had our encounter. Circled three times over it without so much as a flap or flutter and leveled out westward bound... soaring out of sight like she had somewhere to go...somewhere to be... on purpose... and I was envious for a moment.
I apologized for laughing at her footwork in the tree. Her flight skills were impressive, all right. Equally so, her 6 foot wingspan and graceful style. A well-developed juvenile. (Mature TVs have the distinctive red upper beaks and the younger birds are mostly black)
I turned to the cloud-filled eastern sky to find a hole that was quickly filling with flowing, golden light... and my lesson took on clarity.
"Make your sun come out and let it shine
You will find out about it just in time...
Let it shine."
"When one tugs at a single thing in Nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."
I took the camera out on trail this afternoon to take some scenery pics and with some hopes I might come across my winged friend again. Well...lo and behold... in the same spot on the creek, look who I peered up to see? For perspective, that dead tree top is about 75 feet high.
She sprung up after a few minutes just to show off those magnificent wings and her more agile lines... ;)
And then ...I also came across an Angel...
And who says the stars don't come out in the daytime???
And not to be out-done; "Holy Bat Leaf" Batman!!!
Ahhhh yes... the power of one little tug...
All the way to God's Heart-strings... and back.
I feel the pull of the Forward Sky... Again.