“In the woods,
I am the absence of woods…”
When you first enter a promising area of birding—be it near trees, bush, or field—most of the birds fly away. They hide. Although you still hear them, or a chorus of them, you can’t see a one.
It’s only after you’ve stood still for an unspecified amount of time, when you’ve forgotten about the hubbub of your compartmentalized life, when the nagging of bills and the obligations of deadlines cease, when all of it drifts off as far away as possible, away with the breeze and the rustle of leaves, when all of a half-hour passes, or more—you don’t know—when you’ve taken less than ten steps, when a tiny shadow of a creature alights on a far branch, when three of them do, when you put the binoculars to your face and discover of patch of color so brilliantly yellow on a songbird wing, when all of the colors of the afternoon, when all the trees and the sky and the water, when all is saturated in the calm of the day, when a harmless, colorful visitor alights into view and prompts you to do nothing but admire, when, in the woods, you become a part of the woods…
The following was taken from a January 28th, 2010 article in the ‘Seattle Times’, entitled ‘10th anniversary of Alaska Flight 261’, a flight that claimed all of the 88 passengers and crew, after going down in the Pacific off the coast of southern California. I found the article entirely moving. Here’s a small excerpt from it:‘Clinging to Memories.’
“The survivors of Flight 261 have found ways to heal, cope, and endure because they’ve had to.
“Some found solace in their faith. Many cling to the good memories or see evidence of their loved one’s spirit around them.
“Pamela Sparks said she believes her son has left pennies for her to show her he’s there. Pierrete Ing believes her son comforts her by returning lost objects. Paul Bernard and his wife believe their son, Michael, has visited them as a crow.”
-Christine Clarridge, Seattle Times