Thursday, May 30, 2013


Four short-eared owls lifted off the ground and began to circle above me. I was walking early in the morning  on an expanse of high desert sagebrush and lava. It seemed like the birds had taken flight for my benefit. To delight me, to show off, to say hello.

An observer would have seen that my dogs had scared the owls. But if that were the whole story, why didn't they fly off instead of hovering, flying in small circles above me? One young owl dropped elevation on every circle, coming ever closer. When she was directly above my head, only 30 or so feet high, I said, “Good morning, Beautiful.” The owl replied, “Schreee.”

She probably was curious. But don't we investigate things that interest us and flee from what we fear? I realized I was anthropomorphizing, but I didn't want to let go of the idea that the owls were saying good morning.

Maybe they picked up on how beautiful I found them. Maybe they heard my heart say, “Thanks for staying around. Thanks for showing me your great wings and how you can soar.” Out loud I said, “I love you, I love you.

When nature comes close, it feels like it has a message for us. That morning, it seemed like the young owl said, “We are sojourners together. We both love the desert. We love early morning. We love flight and freedom. We are sisters.”

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