I like to think I’m a hopeful person.
Packing up a few small necessities this morning I was filled with these three things:
1) Hope that the gate would be open early
2) Hope that I could make it onto the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail by sunrise and …
3) Hope that there actually WAS a sunrise.
I hit the trifecta.
Leaving home at nautical twilight I aimed my headlights south. A quiet holiday week made this Friday drive bearable. I tried drowning out all of the chatter in my mind with music but I soon gave in. The chatter gets more persistent with competition. The mind wants what the mind wants. It isn’t just the heart that selfishly begs for attention.
My mind plays out a dozen different scenarios regarding my future. I can’t seem to halt the mechanism that kicks in and so my wild mind continues to crank out very good fiction in the 42 minutes it takes to get from my garage to my destination. Did I say good fiction ? I didn’t mean it. It’s really more like fantasy or maybe mystery.
I arrive and pass through the open gate at civil twilight. I have roughly thirty minutes to walk before reaching the Estuary Boardwalk. As I walk, the sound of so many birds trips up the broken record of my mind chatter and I settle into this magical place.
It’s still dark as I head toward the barns. Halfway down the gravel path I can see the light coming through the trees. It quickens both heart and pace. The sky looks like a series of openings in the sky. It is blue and violet and I wonder if the Orange Crush skies will squeeze themselves through the seam of clouds.
My answer comes quickly. As I reach the boardwalk, I turn to see the sky leaking pink and red into the fold. It is a serene palette and is my reward today for having faith and rising early. It came together quite beautifully. Here I was, alone on the boardwalk and not another soul saw it from the same perspective. I always marvel at things like that. While others get excited at their shared experience, I revel in these moments of solitude and breathtaking beauty.
I stand there for awhile, taking it all in.
I consider walking the boardwalk to the closure point, but it is slick as ice. (It IS ice). I think better of it and start my slow walk back. There is a beautiful bald eagle perched on a tree but too far away to really get a good photo of. I scramble in my backpack to get the telephoto lens for the Sony I dragged out here with me today. I snap several pictures, but I’m still not close enough for anything meaningful. I pass s few birders on my way who point out a few juvenile eagles I had missed as well as a mink they had sighted at the overlook. I can’t seem to get the photos off of that camera. This is not news. I’ll post them later if there is anything worth sharing.
Closer to the visitor center I run into Bob and spend the next half hour with him. He is there often all year round. He shares a few stories and a few secrets about the place and encourages me to return for one of the morning guided bird walks.
Bob is a big man, maybe older than I am by a decade. He has gray in his beard and a sparkle in his eye. They call him “Bob the owl guy” around there and it seems everyone knows him. If I hadn’t completed my morning trifecta he would have done it. What do you call four favorable events ?
I call it Friday.
I spent the rest of my day planning a short road trip for myself before the weather gets worse. I want to go somewhere new. Stay somewhere new. Drive somewhere new. If it seems like I’m looking for something I think you’re probably right. I only hope I recognize it when I finally see it.
I’ve been consulting the Crow Tarot. Maybe that sounds a little desperate, but actually it helps calm my wild mind considerably. It’s more of a nudge than a body slam. These cards are a work of art and beautiful as well. Here was my last spread. The first and last cards are revelations in themselves. I know there are questions in those corvid cards. Are there answers as well ?