On these early fall mornings, when the fog grips the tops of the cottonwood trees and last night’s dew beads every blade of grass like liquid diamonds, I go to the Fill with a sense of great anticipation. Migration is in full swing now, and I never know what I will find around the next bend in the path.
Two days ago, I heard a burbling, gurgling kind of song near Main Pond. I scanned through the willows, trying to find the singer, but it was hopeless. A breeze had blown up from the lake, jangling all the leaves and making it impossible to see any birdly movement.
In earlier years, I would have ground my teeth, knowing I was missing a new bird, possibly a great bird, thanks to the ding-dang, bleeping wind that never blows when you want it to, or where you want it to, or how you want it to. Capricious, the poets used to call such a breeze, and they were right.
Nowadays, though, I am more mellow — almost zen-like, you might say, in my acceptance of whatever it is nature chooses to send me. If nature sends a great bird, I accept it with peacefulness in my soul. If nature sends obscurity, I smile my Buddha-like smile and pass on with serenity, at one with the universe and…
That hee-haw noise you’re undoubtedly hearing now is my husband’s horse-laugh at the notion that I serenely accept missing any bird, great or otherwise.
Fortunately for my amour propre, the burble bird eventually came winging its way out of the willows to perch on top of a small fruit tree in Hunn Meadow West just as the sun broke through the fog. A Western Meadowlark.
For a brief moment—the mere length of one bird’s song—I lived on a planet graced by a binary star: the sun on high, and the meadowlark gleaming as brightly down below. Then the bird loosened up its vocal chords and serenaded the world. Its liquid notes trilled through the motes puffed here and there by the wind, joining together the tangible and the invisible into one glorious whole that enwrapped every living thing. Including me.