Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Call of the Wild

I'm standing in the prairie, rushing to collect flags, when the primordial trumpet of sandhill cranes causes me to stop all motion. I look around, get sun-blinded, regain my bearings, look again, see nothing. How can a noise that is so loud, and that sounds like it's surrounding me, be coming from things that I can't even find? Finally, with the help of a few 7th graders, I see them. Six "vee" formations, or seven maybe, each with a hundred or more birds in it. They are so high up that they look like dust almost, or ashes floating in the wind. But once I see them, I can't stop seeing them... a thousand birds, each as tall as me but so high up I can hardly see them, so numerous I can hear them distinctly, all journeying together, most likely to Florida... it's an amazing sight, one that brings you close to the ancients. I can imagine, a thousand years ago or more, people walking through the prairie, and stopping at the arresting call of the cranes. Taking a minute to ponder, to celebrate, before resuming life's daily tasks. In this season of thankfulness, I am grateful for cranes.

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