Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Birds Of Paradise

It is not often I find myself kneeling in snow. But the other day, instinct and gratitude brought me to my knees. Following the gentle whispers I have come to know as God, I went for a cold and sunny walk through Akron park. Listening to the soft suggestions going on in my brain, I followed the road above the creek. It was on that road, bliss burst through and stopped me in my tracks. It was on that road in a tree to my left, my personal paradise revealed itself.

Hanging from the underbelly of a limb, hammering away, was a rare and glorious Pileated Woodpecker. The largest woodpecker in North America. I have seen this rare bird an average of once a year, flying quickly by me and out of sight. Suddenly, here it was, in full view without aid of binoculars, doing what woodpeckers do.
It stayed in my view for no less than 20 minutes, swooping from tree to tree, trilling and calling and hammering for bettles slumbering beneath the cover of bark. It was when its mate flew in and landed nearby, I fell to my knees. They stayed together, in my view, for 10 minutes. Calling and joining each other on successive trees. At one point they were even joined by my favorite bird, the red-bellied woodpecker, and at that moment, I had to consciously open my heart wider to receive such levels of joy.
The Pileated Woodpeckers flew off towards the creek, one behind the other, bouncing silently over the cold air. I turned my attention back to the whispers within and wandered through the park. I fascinated myself with my own footprints in pristine expanses of snow. I leaned against elderly hemlocks and suddenly, I heard the calls. The woodpeckers were back in my view. They regaled me with their presence for another 10 minutes before chattering their way along the creek. My smile was miles wide and a lightness lifted me 3 feet above the snow.
Had I chosen to stay indoors, I would have missed a glimpse into my personal paradise. Had I ignored the whispers and instincts, my knees would have stayed warm, but I would have missed the making of a life-long memory. So little effort brought so much reward. I heeded my instincts and happiness flew in.
{Tthe photo of Drycopus Pileatus, all 16 to 20 inches of feathers, is a stock photo image}


  1. Anonymous1/31/2008

    Whoa! I am very much looking for these interactions. For me, I must get up early. I hope for this on the weekend. So lovely, so pastoral so what I need right now. I have had many encounters like this before in my life, and, I miss it so very much.

  2. how blessed you were! i popped in over from luxie's site where she also wrote about what she loves ..

  3. Hey,

    Congratulations on being blog of the day @ Fuel my blog.

    This was so enchaining to read- motivated me for go for a walk sometime soon. Really, thank you for the inspiration.

    Kind regards,

    Dont be sad


I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel