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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mystical Convocation

The various spots on our property where over the years I have done some sustained firewood-cutting all end up becoming special places that carry for me certain spiritual meanings, to which, however, I can't give any names. The latest such spot is the one across the creek and far up the slope where I've been working on the downed 88 feet of a giant dead White Pine whose 20-foot snag still stands. The trees there are taller than they generally are elsewhere on the property.

Yesterday, while I was up there taking advantage of the last moments of daylight to split and carry away another big round of the fallen trunk, I saw something unusual and beautiful and awe-inspiring overhead. I heard them first though just barely, because only their wings were making sounds and that was subdued -- twenty or more large birds floating in from the north. I thought they would keep going, but instead most of them alighted in the tops of some of the trees that stood only 15 or 20 yards farther up the hill, and they didn't stir from there.

Only two or three stayed in the air a little longer, circling once or twice, as if to verify my harmlessness, before joining their friends.

There was too little light and my eyes are too poor for me to identify the kind of these birds or even to see exactly where they were sitting, but I could feel their eyes on me. They didn't look like buzzards, and I tried to think that they were hawks, though I don't think of hawks as being that communal.

Today a friend said he thought they were most likely turkeys.

I wondered how that could be true, because I've had a lifetime of being conditioned to think of turkeys, even wild ones, as being clumsy creatures and not capable of such elegance or those powers of flight. And I would've expected them to have something to say.

Nevertheless I had the strongest feeling that the silent and incredibly graceful arrival and settling in of these birds marked that as not only a special but even a sacred spot, and I had no business being there, at least at that time of the dying day. So I wasted no time in finishing loading my cart and trundling down the slope back toward my own roosting place.


Blogger Catherine said...


9:19 PM  

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