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.
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.
Title: At the Lake Not Listening to Mom for the Moment
Of course, she does change course, make a big loop, and come back to the point, er, the sit. Ms. Luna is 4 &1/2 years old, and this posting is a celebration of her.
Look closely, and you see the green of the tennis ball, fragmented by the experience of being thrown into the brink. Well, little ball, you ain't seen nuthin yet.
Can all hell break loose in the water? Probably, if one considers Great White Shark.
Great Speckled Luna.
How blessed I am to have a Luna friend. She is thriving with her regime of raw food, leash-walks, occasional rides in the car, controlled trips to the Lake. She loves her "kids," doesn't pay much mind to any others. She and I both are recovering from the deep winter traumatic experience. I have found much comfort in Trish and Lisa's instructions: protect her. In a profound way, I was given permission to take care of her, to make decisions about her, to take control.
Swallowtail Butterflies are fresh and new by the first of April. Larabee is a hidden valley created by the Eel River. Perhaps I have lived here since time began, a butterfly in the willows on the banks of a Northern river.