Friday, July 15, 2011

I Love Eagles.

Approaching the Summer Bridge,  I scan the sky, the water, the gravel bar, and back to the sky.  A large silhouette lumbers up river, towards me.  I glance back at the road, then raise my eyes to what I was really hoping for: osprey?  No, way bigger.  Can it be the Bald Eagle?  By now I am on the wrong side of the dirt road, my vehicle aimed at the gravel berm, and I notice that there is a car behind me.  Yes, kind of on my bumper.  So I drive like I know how, find a place to legitimately pull over, flip a U and go back, park where it says not to, and dig the camera out of the basket.  I get out, use the steel gate as a tripod and take a few photos, none of which, when I upload them, are clear.  But I don't care.

This is the first time that I have had my camera within reach when I've seen the Eagles.  They take my breath away.  Give me hope.

Once, out at the Lake, we were returning from an exhausting paddle, having gone too far and the wind had come up to make it even harder.  I was grumbling along behind Wayne, wishing I had such long arms and strong biceps as him, so I could paddle better and be ahead, when a motion just above my head drew my attention upward.  There, going in the same direction as us (into the wind), a Bald Eagle so close that I could see its feathers, its yellow eye, its amazing beak.  It seemed to hang a bit with us, then with powerful strokes, left us to our slow-going struggle:  Land Lubbers.

I have been watching, on a daily basis, a live-stream web cam that is set up in a nest north of Vancouver Island.  For instance, it is raining there today, and the eaglets (there are two) are a little wet and bedraggled.  The amazing journey of these magnificent birds is awe inspiring.  The eaglets' antics seem so endearing, and I admittedly make everything kind of pet-like.  They are not pets.  They are a species on the edge of survival, as the resources upon which they depend are in peril.  Humans are really messing up, destroying the environment with horrifying efficiency.  It is a major miracle that this eagle family is still intact, that the youngsters are this far along.

I keep my eye on them all day (when I am home), check on them when I hear them screeching, because I know now what it sounds like when the parents are zooming in.  The man who runs the web cam is a sage in the Eagle world, but I can only imagine his heavy heart in watching the environmental destruction unraveling the ecosystem around him.  I feel it too.

Eagles at Hornby Island

Despair is not my job.  I admit that I am often unsure what in the hell to do.  Yes:  Prayer leads me, most often into this place of not knowing what to do:  I seem so powerless.

So here is what I did today, and my heart opened, lifted.   I tuned in to the Eagle Cam.  I laughed at their antics, their wild flapping and hopping.  I watched them watch for their parent, craning their heads in unison, keeping their eye on Mom when she lands in the branches above them.  I watched them shake water off themselves.  I let myself meld into their rhythm, slow down.  I allow time to stop, allow Eagle essence into my consciousness, just for a moment.  And it starts to happen:  I can feel the wet air, the gray sky down to the water, water everywhere dripping from the giant mother tree.  I hear the Raven.  The Eagles know.  To be Eagle, do what eagles do, teach the eagle way to the youngsters.  Know that all is well.

Thank goodness.  That's all I've got to say about that.



Anonymous said...

I stayed at the Stanford Powwow one year after most of the crowd had gone. Watched the passing out of the awards for each dance, and to the winning drums. Those who'd lingered began to gather up their belongings and head for the campground where the pickup trucks and tents were packed and ready for the road. Suddenly, someone pointed to the sky. Over the field mid campus soared an eagle, over the heart of Palo Alto, over the powwow grounds and the feathers and rattles and blankets and the gowns of the jingle dancers. It soared on toward the sunset. Thus blessed, we all went home.

Laura Paine Carr said...

Ahh. Thank you, Gail.

N2 said...

Glad to see that visits with the eagles are keeping you going. Keep those spirits soaring! x0 N2

Annie said...

Breathtaking, Laura, and as you say, so hope giving. Their majesty is beyond anything royal.

Jendocino said...

So beautiful! Good for you and your eagle eyes!!

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