A stiff breeze from the Northeast over the bridge makes her head recoil deeper into the scarf. She picks up speed. Approaching the wooded shoreline, she finds her assumption proven. There he sits at the very top of a massive tree, motionless. Their usual game begins: while his yellow eyes never lose sight of her although his white head barely moves, she slips into the role of a smitten teenager who sheepishly casts quick glances at the subject of her affection while pretending to be interested in something else. She often wonders whether he can read her like an open book, see her aura, sense her energy of the day. He certainly has understood that she doesn’t pose a threat to him. She has the distinct notion that he looks after her in a way that she cannot put into words. His presence is like a magic wand whenever she encounters him. These viewings are reminders of her own strengths. In those moments, she forgets time and place, melts into her surroundings, becomes one with them -and him. They uplift her. No longer does she feel the need to take pictures of him all the time. His sovereign presence doesn’t change from frame to frame. With a last look at the subject of her joy, she leaves the eagle behind and continues her hike.
Where the trees give way to prairie, single oak and maple trees haven’t shed their colorful burden despite recent nights of biting frost. Their golden and red nourish her soul and she decides to walk in their direction. In that instant, a pristine white bird with a large wing span flies into one of them. She has never seen a snowy owl in the wild before. Could this be one? Their home is up north in much colder regions than here. However, climate change in combination with loss of habitat has triggered wild life -including predators- to move further south. The curious smitten teenager in her takes over. She hears blood rush to her own heartbeat. Questions race through her head, the most pressing of which being whether the bird will allow her to approach close enough to determine its species. With hope and learned caution to not to startle the animal, she proceeds. The large white silhouette against the golden backdrop grants her a couple of yards before it takes off between the tree trunks towards the lake. Still mesmerized, she stops. Her eyes follow the bird until it blends with the grayish-white sky. Wow, what was that? A dream? A ghost? Reality? She feels like shaking herself. She senses someone’s eyes on her and looks up. There he sits, still on the same throne. Like a statue. Timeless in his almighty presence. Under his dismissive stare she feels scolded like a school girl. No one, no other bird will ever oust him, the king of the sky.
About the author
Anja Kerstin Kuentzel,
Advanced Grief Recovery Method specialist, nature lover, photographer, and bilingual wordsmith combines her passions to offer a different perspective on life that might inspire, raise awareness or even heal.