There have been a few times in my life where I have been alone and unsuspecting, and Mother Nature has come through and really given me a glimpse of her awesomeness. Not in big powerful ways, like a hurricane or tornado, but in little things that bring wonder and delight.
The first time this happened was ten years ago, and I was 35 feet under water in the Cayman Islands. When you scuba dive, generally you see variations on the same five different fish and then occasionally you get a big wow with a reef shark or a school of baracuda. On this occasion we’d played around on the reefs, seen the usual fish, and everyone was heading back to the boat… althouh, as usual, yours truly was lagging behind. And in that one minute where I was alone I looked down and saw a small little spotted ray skimming across the sand, as I looked up to see if I could point it out to anyone, all of the sudden a puffer fish came out of nowhere, did a kind of loop around me, and headed off to the reef. (Puffer fish being my absolute favorite salt-water fish, and having never seen one outside of a tank before or since.) I couldn’t shout to anyone ahead to come look, and it only lasted for a second, but in that instance I felt like the world was letting me in on its own little secret… like it was whispering in my ear, “look, isn’t this awesome?”
The second time I had this feeling was just last year, when I looked out the windows on a snowy night and saw a pair of flying squirrels playing tag in my trees.
Then, just last weekend I was driving though my aunt’s neighborhood to take some pictures of her house, and as I rounded a curve in the street, I saw this in someone’s yard…
He watched me back my car up, get out, and crouch over to him, and then saw the camera and it was like he said, “Oh, pictures? Here, get my good side.” And flew to a low branch right over my head.
He gave me this look, and I almost felt like I should bow.
And once I took a couple of shots, he spread his wings and took off.
That is awesome.