Reverence: 37/365

 

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A storm rolled in at midnight, lighting up the bedroom. Big cracks of thunder. The wind coming off the water gusted over the roof like it might tear it off. It was enough to wake Isabella, but she wasn’t bothered by it.

I thought of the eagles in their nest in the patch of woods a block away. How they must be hunkered deep protecting their new eggs. The sway of those high branches, the rain pelting tucked wings. What a night to endure high up in a tree. I thought of the three squirrels who dwell in the thick hollowed out branch of our backyard maple. And the small birds, the woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays and robins, who frequent our feeder. I lay listening to the storm wishing them all safe refuge. I think about us all being made of the same life force embodied in different physical forms. I think about it as a family value, unspoken but understood among the three of us, a deep respect, a reverence for all life. I think less about instilling this value in my daughter and more about the way she instilled this in me with her birth, her very existence.

In the course of writing this post this morning, alternately doing dishes and sitting slumped at the computer indian-style, breastfeeding the two-year old in my lap while my hands fly across the keyboard, I see the eagle swooping, soaring from the window. I scoop up Isabella and run barefoot and jacketless in pajamas out the back door onto the wet deck to get a better look. There she is, soaring against the new blue sky. I call to Chris who’s upstairs, “Get the camera, they’re putting on a show!” He dresses and rushes out, walks up to the woods with the camera.

He returns a half hour later with the news that the nest is gone, and with it their two new eggs. The spectacular swoop and soar from the woods to our house and back again is one of distress. Chris says, “She’s screeching. She’s beside herself.” Isabella is in my lap, our cheeks pressed together as we watch the eagle fly low and straight over us. “Do you see that?” I say. “The mama eagle is flying.” And she says, “Eagle! We have to give her food!” She has the right idea, wanting to help in some way. But as with so much of life, all we can do is watch, pay attention, and with reverence, bear witness.

Photo credit goes to my nature-loving husband, Chris Bousquet, who can name all the birds and plants and trees. 

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6 thoughts on “Reverence: 37/365”

  1. I am so sad. I didn’t at all expect that ending and felt like I went sleep-walking into it…lulled by your beautifully crafted sentences, your ability to shift so quickly from the small to the sublime (and finding them in each other). This sentence!!! “In the course of writing this post this morning, alternately doing dishes and sitting slumped at the computer indian style breastfeeding the two year old in my lap while my hands fly across the keyboard, I see the eagle swooping, soaring from the window.”

    I am so so very sorry for your friends and grateful to you and your husband for bearing witness.

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    1. Thank you for your beautiful words, Rachel. I wrote this in real time as it was unfolding, so I honestly didn’t expect the ending either. I thought Chris return to report the nest was in tact and we’d marvel at the wonders of wildlife nest construction. But the wind was ferocious last night and the nest so high in the tree.

      They are still circling above the fallen nest and seem to be in mourning, and perhaps surveying where to rebuild. We hope they stay in the nearby woods – the woods just across the street from the LBA tennis courts. The Audubon designated it a protected sanctuary since the eagles established themselves there last summer. I will keep this post updated with news as we track their progress.

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  2. Wow – it has that urgency – real – time -but I didn’t stop to think you actually did not know the ending as you began. Yes please do keep the post updated and thank you again for honoring these creatures.

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    1. We did see the eagles yesterday – a good sign – but it’s unclear whether they’ll rebuild and stay another season. To be continued…

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  3. […] Chris continues to faithfully track the eagles and document their progress. They’ve left the woods and taken up residence in a tall pine on a street nearby. He’s captured photos of them with their talons full of reeds and one with a wishbone-shaped branch in her beak culled from their former tree. This photo is one of my favorites, the expression of joy on this bird’s face, so distinctly different from the expressions of distress in my post two weeks ago. […]

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