Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Owl Of Delight

Many creatures have crossed my path while out jogging over the past few years. Dozens of chipmunks, deer, red foxes, rabbits and a handful of black rat snakes. While out running in Florida I even stepped over a dead aardvark. But today was the best. A barred owl flew just a few feet in front of me, then landed on a tree branch and stared, radiating cool wisdom. I stared back, while jogging stupidly on the spot. I haven’t seen an owl in the wild since I was 12 years old, and never from this close up.

A sparrow, likely protecting its young, tried to mob the owl, but it was dismissed with a perfunctory flap of a wing. I kept staring, but didn’t want to outstay my welcome. So I turned my back on the bird and continued running, shouting out loud, “Wow! Fuck! Wow!” Occasionally, even a 44-year-old house-dad gets to burst out through his wrinkled, weary cynicism and enjoy a moment of wide-eyed astonishment. Magnificent.

4 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

"Wide-eyed" is very appropriate for an owl. What do you see when you look into an owl's eyes? Billy Bunter was known as "The Owl of the Remove".

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

I'd describe the owl's look as one of lofty disdain for the human condition. "Look at you in your shorts having to go out jogging to stay fit. I stay in shape by primal hunting, and then I head back to my tree to read Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground." Although apparently owls are no cleverer than any other birds - like all us pseudo-intellectuals, they've just managed to cultivate the right image.

No Good Boyo said...

Owls have no anus, which means they are the only animal that by definition cannot enjoy amour à la grecque. Hence their air of superiority.

Thanks for the Juncoes CD. Bendigeidfran rocks gently to its darker moments.

Nathan said...

Hey Ian -

I liked this one a lot. Nature can indeed be magnificent. Standing on the remote shores of Lake Superior is better than drugs.

As I read this post I flashed on Bernard Sumner saying that he saw his first tree at age nine. In a documentary about Joy Division. Hmmmm.