An evening of calmer weather and raptor calls

There are nights on end
in which the wind roars
like an ocean;
an alive thing,
a noisy reminder of the alive-ness of Creation.

It drives, pushes, bullies –
heedless and unstoppable;
like a three-year-old having a tantrum.

Flinging outdoor tables and chairs carelessly about
then turning to smack you in the face and chest
like that box of clothes falling from the top shelf in the closet:
the initial blow, then grazed again and again
by the loose things on top
which remind you that you didn’t close it up very well.

To stand outside in the middle of it
you feel the alive-ness
and the exhilarating thrill
of danger, perceived;
and it prompts the reaching of a hand in faith
to place it in God’s –
trusting that I am safe.

But tonight,
the slashing rains have paused,
the maddening winds have calmed;
and I can finally sit outside.

It’s a rare treat in winter.

I’ve fetched the chair cushions
from the middle of the meadow
where the wind has driven them
as a cruel joke;
my knees protesting and muttering their clicking disdain
for the lumpy and random surface.

I pick up my glass and thank God for it,
and open my reading.

The day’s bustle and stress fade,
and I look up occasionally
to see and feel and be thankful for
the alive-ness of Creation
around me:
Living, changing, moving,
light and shadow,
noise and silence,
numbing cold on my face
and thankfulness for warm clothes.

And suddenly…
so close it makes me jump –
comes the hunting-call of a Great Horned Owl;
its rising “ayyyyyyEH?”
sounding like a cranky, deaf Canadian spinster.

Then off in the distance
it gets a “who-WHO-who-who”
in a mate’s answer.

The exchange goes on for a minute
or so
and I wish them
good hunting on silent wings.


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