Observations on birding and life, from a novice at both
Friday, September 3, 2010
The edge of the hurricane
Skies are leaden, and the air feels heavy. The hurricane is about to pass many miles to the east tonight. This morning, I wake up at five o'clock thinking of the birds that may be blown off course and find themselves here tomorrow. I am excited to get out with the binoculars and perhaps see something rare, unusual, something I've never seen before. And yet at the same time, I identify with those birds whose lives are right now erupting into chaos. Perhaps I am dreaming, perhaps I am awake, but I am airborne for a moment. I am a tiny bird blown out to sea. Imagine the desperate survival urge. And what of the seabird that suddenly finds itself in a strange dry land? No one can know what consciousness a bird has, but we all can imagine the instinct to keep breathing till the very last second that we can't any more. Some of these storm birds will live, some will die. There is nothing new in that, but still it gives me a pang, a reminder that there are clear days for all of us, and storms to face, too.