Little Miracle

My friend Robin the Mermaid showed me a photograph she took while visiting friends on Eden Road.  It was a picture of an Eastern Screech Owl, sound asleep in the hollow of a tree.  The tree is old, weathered, and gnarled, with raspy branch fingers that stretch up beseechingly to the sky in the cold winter air.  Robin showed me the photo last Monday, and so each day this week I have chosen to run along Eden Road to try and catch a glimpse myself.  Robin promised it would be there, as long as the sun was shining.  I tried  on Tuesday and Wednesday but, not even sure of which tree to look in, had no luck.  I scoped out all the possible trees in the area  so that I’d be ready if the owl was there.

Yesterday I chose to loop home by way of Eden Road.  I only wanted to avoid the steep hill at the end of Penzance Road; I was so engrossed in the motion and flow of my run that I completely forgot about my week-long mission.  I was moving along quickly on the last incline, listening to the Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling, and suddenly remembered the owl.  I stopped short, and happened to be exactly at the spot I had figured the owl would be.  There it was, tiny and still, its feathers an almost perfect camouflage against the worn bark along the black edge of the hollow.  The early sunlight shone on tree, highlighting the hollow’s stark blackness.   The morning air was quite windy.  All six inches of owl nestled back into the hollow just enough so that no feathers ruffled in the swirling air.  Its eyes were closed and it slept peacefully, completely unaware of my audience.

I scrambled to turn off my music and take out my phone so I could take a picture of my own.  I pulled my scarf over my mouth so that my loud runner’s breathing would not wake the owl.  As I have mentioned before, technology is a challenge for me and I scrolled wildly through my phone’s menus until I finally found the camera menu.  I pressed lots of keys on the key pad, trying to hold the phone up high enough to keep the owl in view and at last, managed to get a picture of my own.

Eastern Screech Owl on Eden Road

I stood there, grinning like a fool, my breath caught in my throat, lost in the wonder of the moment.  I almost forgot I was in the middle of a run— a good run.  I pulled myself together and stuffed my phone back into my vest pocket, turned the music back on, and continued on my way.  I had a hard time regaining my pace and speed.  I kept seeing the image of that black hollow, the owl nestled in sleep, and thinking how lucky I was to have Robin as my friend, Eden Road as part of my run route, and a voice in my head that helps me remember what’s really important to me.  Otherwise, I would have run right past.  I would be out here in the world oblivious to little miracles like this.

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8 Comments on “Little Miracle”

  1. Robin Says:

    Ah Gazelle Girl, what a beautiful ode to the miraculous little bundle of feathers, and to those moments of beauty that fill us with wonder. Robin the Mermaid is feeling equally lucky to have you as a friend.

  2. Pat Says:

    Good thought— Great lesson—Beautifully put…

  3. Sharon Says:

    What a beautiful picture…how wonderful you saw the owl at the right moment!

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    What a lovely little treasure!

  5. lise Says:

    He is a little miracle isn’t he. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy the “little things” and the natural beauty thats all around us.


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