Midweek Muse: Power, Beauty, and Scary Things

Too close and still out of reach. That is how the seagull feels to me, just outside the car window, raindrops spitting on the glass.

There are few things more repulsive and scary to me than birds flying too close. Where this fear comes from, I cannot say. I never did see the infamous Alfred Hitchcock film (mainly because of my own phobia). Maybe it’s the distant childhood memory of my cat Smokey being dive bombed by Blue Jays in the backyard. Maybe it’s simply the acknowledgement that the power and unpredictability of a flying thing with pointy beak and an impressive wingspan must be respected… from a distance.

And yet there are few sights more beautiful to me than a bird in flight. Here, at the Nubble Light House just off the coast of York, ME, my six-year-old managed to capture this one on my iPhone. The moment was near perfection, after my heart stopped racing from the nearness: a bird in flight, close enough to count his tail feathers, yet here I sit separated and protected by glass.

In this moment, my son’s one purpose seemed to be to show me life and beauty and power from the eyes of one who is not yet afraid of it.

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