Last week, I took my parents out to a bird watching place I like to go to every now and then to get away from it all and to get back to myself. I knew that January 10 was going to be a terrifically sad day for all of us and I wanted to take my parents, both avid bird watchers and nature lovers, to the place that takes me away from the distresses of life.
Thursday was overcast and cold, but we bundled up and drove the 45 minutes it takes to get to Eagle Watch, my mom and I chatting in the front while my dad daydreamed in the backseat of my car. When we arrived, the lake was quiet and we had the place to ourselves. We didn’t see any eagles, just a few great grey herons and little birds. We moved from the first bird watching pavilion over to a second one that had a picnic table so we could eat our sandwiches and for Mom to sit and rest her knee, a knee that she had replacement surgery on just a few weeks ago. As we were eating our food, we at last saw our bald eagle that we were so hoping to see that day. He swooped in on giant silent wings, perching on a tree on the far side of the lake. As we watched, something spooked him (perhaps the fishermen quietly fishing in their John boat off in the distance) and he took off, flying over the water with his talons outstretched like he accidentally dropped his own lunch. He made a circle over the lake and then glided back over the tree line away from us and sailed off into the overcast skies.
We finished up our food quietly, each of us lost in our thoughts, cleaned up our trash and drove back home, sure that it was my sister that sent that magnificent bald eagle to let us know she was there with us, too.