Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The plunder of Now

In Grand Marais, I looked out the window and saw Herring Gulls sprouting from all over the Mountain Ash tree, like monarch butterflies flocking to blazingstar flowers.

They jostled with each other, beat their wings and teetered as the wind tried to sweep them away, gripping on with their feet and beaks. Persistent in their quest to balance just long enough to devour ripe, scarlet berries.

And see how the shape of wing echoes that of cloud, both curved for flight?

Those berries must have tasted sweet to the gulls. I wish I had tried one. Just so that when I looked at this picture, I'd remember its flavor on my tongue. Tart like cranberries and orange rinds? Pulpy with fermented juice, like the dangerous aroma of nightshade berries?

But I can hear the rustling sound of their powerful wings, the oceanic rush of air and the lapping of wavelets on the shore. I can catch the faintest scent of wild water and a tendril of woodsmoke. And for a moment in my lately-too-housebound, floaty existence, I can even imagine the dizzy spin of flying, swooping, diving, then settling on the cold water with my resting tribe. Content. Belly full of fish and bright fruit.

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