Saturday, November 25, 2017

Circle of Life Moments

I wish I had a video of it...but it's etched in my mind. My whole family experienced it so at least I have a few people I can share the memory with.

A small woodpecker was peacefully eating at the bird feeder, flew off, and SMACK! ...it slammed into the picture window (making us all jump).  Stunned, it seemed to float in mid-air for a few milliseconds. JUST THEN, a hawk...a big, beautiful, deadly hawk, swooped in and picked it off in mid-float!

...all of this happening in just a few seconds moments after we had just finished Thanksgiving dinner!

We have hawks all around our land, but we've not seen one near the bird feeder (or as we now call it...the Hawk Buffet), until 30 minutes earlier. It must have flown in, seen the opportunity, and perched in nearby trees just waiting for his moment. Now, I'm not sure a Hawk has a degree in physics, but it certainly seemed to be thinking, "Aha, there's my entree fattening itself now at the bird feeder...it's a speedy little thing but if I can just move my wing enough to startle it into flying SSW at 92 degress, it will fly straight into that window...at which time I will have 0.348 seconds to swoop in while it floats startled at the impact"

...and that's exactly what happened. A classic "Circle of Life" moment. Right in front of us...no visual memory, but something we'll remember for years.

But that was not the only Circle of Life moment that day.

90 minutes earlier, our cat brought a soon-to-be-cat-food mole to our back door...and proceeded to join us in Thanksgiving meal ... where we could audibly hear the cat consume the mole...starting with the brain...leaving only the stomach and liver. I didn't take a video of that either. But we'll remember it for some time.

...but I do have a photo that captures glimpses of other Circle of Life moments from Thanksgiving that I'll remember for some time:


...like seeing our nearly-grownup kids interacting, having fun, playing games, and talking about their experiences in this soon-to-be-their-world-to-conquer.

...like seeing my oldest and his girlfriend help make Thanksgiving great by bringing food, fun, conversation, and sharing their journey through what committed relationship requires.

...like seeing Grandpa seeming to find peace in his surrounding family...even as his memories fade, conversations shorten, and independence shrinks.

...like seeing gaps where loved ones not with us any longer used to be...knowing some day that'll be me.

...like seeing a smaller gathering with immediate family only. I'll always cherish our past Thanksgivings with extended family, but maybe those days are gone? It seems the mantle has been passed to me to keep this family engaged.

...like seeing my wife, who has been by my side as we journey through this life, some times happy, some times sad, many times (especially lately) struggling to find peace...struggling to find each other...yet always finding moments to connect.

...

So many Circle of Life moments...I wish I had a video of them all...but they're etched in my mind. My whole family experienced them so at least I have a few people I can share these memories with.

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