Owl's Answers

Yesterday I walked in the small woods. Up the steep slips of fallen leaf.
Found myself under a dome of tree cover. Something about it caught my attention - the circularity, the floor of dark leaves, when the rest of the woods is strewn with fern and bramble.
There was only the sighs of autumn leaves to be heard, high above.
I raised my eyes, un-expectant, to where an owl was asleep.
Yellow eyes opened: we stared at each other.
I willed it to read my questions. I have much to ask. Time paused. Then the owl flew.
I clearly heard the brisk rustle of its feathers.
I had never before woken an owl.
I walked out of the cut field into redemptive rain.
Just before home, the rain stopped. Out of the hedge, two ripe strawberries were gathered.

In the night, bad dreams came. In the morning nothing factual remains, only the fear.
Had the owl answered my questions? I hoped not.
I went back to the small woods.

Today the sun shone, the owl was not at home. Dog sprang a deer out of the hedge.
A pair of wagtails swung on a wire, singing.
Butterflies, everywhere, and one dragonfly. It sits on a dead twig, flaunting its shimmer.

These are the answers, I decided.
Because what do these wild things know?
They live vulnerable every minute.

Uncertainty is a wisdom. For the consciously thoughtful, circumstances are insubstantial, except as ways in which to practice an adjustment of attitude.

I eat warm blackberries and follow Dog: she traces after the deer. We go up the slope of the field, the long slope, steeper than it looks. The same angle as the small woods.
We see the summit, aim for it.
Walk and walk, because an analogy makes most sense when it has this physical presence.
We do not quit, so we get to the top.
Somewhere the owl will be snoozing, and it will not worry about dreams.


Geo. said…
Beautiful post, hypnotic! The language of Nature is our first language. Its grammar is tricky. Not always easy to distinguish complete subject from predicate. We're probably both.

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