Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Life in the Country

Sunset Monday night, the kind that turns the air golden and makes you grateful for eyes that perceive color. The sky stayed lit until it had turned nearly every color of the rainbow and then dimmed into starlit darkness.

Tuesday morning's visitor stayed quite a while. The Cooper's Hawk was having a meal of something just outside our dining room window. We had tea and watched her eat. When we went outside, after she had flown off, we looked for the remains of her meal. We hoped there wouldn't be any feathers. And fortunately there were none. In fact there was not a single thing left.
But a hawk made me want to eat my own words on Saturday morning. My poetic bravado on Friday extolled the hawk's place in our yard, having as much a place as the dove's, I said. Before sunrise on Saturday, while I prepared tea, I noticed the silhouette of two mourning doves as they sat on our fence. I thought to photograph them but didn't. I told Roger about them. How sweetly they fluttered and trilled while they flew down to the yard.
We had our tea in bed, as we always do, and then went out into the yard to water the garden. There next to the flower bed was a large gray feather blowing in the morning breeze, and next to it a pile of feathers of one of those mourning doves. When I looked around I could see where it had been hit, and then carried off and eaten. I remembered my words and for a moment regretted my glib observations about the inherent struggles of life and death in the natural world.

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