I didn’t notice the eagle until it took off flying from some scraggly tree near the beach the boys affectionately call Golden Sands. The sand is speckled with mica, but we all choose to think of it as gold. Not the gold bits you’d ravenously stick into your pockets to become rich, but the gold you’re already rich with because you can see it and feel happy because you do.
It was sunny and all four of us descended on the Golden Sands with hearts overinflated with sunshine and the feeling of having missed the place. A sliver of uneasiness pierced my joy …these banks should’ve been under water if the season wasn’t so messed up. Heavy snow melt should’ve come and bathed these shores in lots and lots of green heavy waters till late June.
The boys ran zigzags and sand flew behind them in twirls that sparkled. No matter what ails you when you’re heading outside, having kids by your side and more sunshine than you ever thought yourself worthy of, that just dissolves any and all bitter bits of life and hands you over this sweet pill of hope and incredible gratefulness. It was like we had our own golden butterflies that we released for the sheer joy of it.
The four of us walked together for a while until the boys decided to stay put in a camp of their own where they could play. Max and I kept walking; the river was wide and lazy and the sky the freshest blue you can imagine, with shreds of clouds scattered like kid clothes all over the floor. I should know.
The eagle flew so close we saw the bright white feathers on its head. It flew silently to another tall tree and I could not help wondering what he thought of us. Intruders? One thing was certain. He saw more of us than we saw of him. That invites to reverence. How much life was there aware of our presence and hiding away because of us?
More sunshine, curtains of clouds drawn to the side by the wind. On and off, again and again… an ocean of golden specks, the boys like two bugs hopping in the distance, rolling in the sand, crawling, creating small golden tornadoes. A world of our own.
We walked back to tell the boys of the shelter.
We walked and talked. It’s never enough; our together time to churn through bits of life, to talk about the next steps, to build dreams together, to think ourselves grateful. We played the game of ‘if you could add one more thing to what you have now…’ and we both wanted for nothing more. That’s the kind of soul embrace I wish upon everyone. Simple and sturdy, the belief that everything else is a bonus feature.
The path ahead is as it should be. Control is an illusion and what we have is what we see right now. Chasing golden specks with the intention to collect them all, to have them all… or choosing to keep on walking, too see them fly high with winds and children’s playing, knowing that having is not really having but rather renouncing what you already have… the joy of experiencing life on any given day, trespassing areas of grey together to get to the sunshine that’s always there. If only you can see it.
We walked with the sun on our backs and our steps sinking in the sand; the boys waved in the distance and came running. We led the way back to the shelter. They sat on the bench, with long lines of sunshine traced on their cheeks, red from all the running and playing, sparkles in their hair.
Onwards? We kept on walking until we found a narrow path through the trees to the main path that would take us back. We noticed another guardian perched high in the trees, not a bald eagle, but maybe a golden one, so we all turned quiet and stared. It stared back, but did not fly away, clearly knowing who the visitor is and who’s there to stay. Reverence.
The sun was splashed all over the hills and on some orange trees in the near distance, making them glow bright and surreal. Another eagle flew low and silent over our heads, graciously sailing through the air saturated with sunlight, and farther away a yellow airplane took off noisily and with a somewhat awkward wobbling. So much to learn still…
We walked and talked and I stopped for one more photo. My perpetual attempt to make it last, to remember. I sometimes think of all the photos I am accumulating; megabytes of emotions and beauty, days I will never remember by the actual date, but by how I felt, by the storms or the sunshine that was gifted to us that day.
I often think I should print them all so on any given day I will be reminded that I am blessed because I got to see it all and through photos I get to see it again and again, relearning the lessons of then and knowing that it is all like the flight of the eagles… short-lived for those walking on the ground, easily missed if you’re walking with your head down, and majestically uplifting because it speaks of heights from where everything we let ourselves be overcome by becomes what it really is… specks.
The day’s lesson… Bird’s eye view. Never mind the specks. Hold onto what you have, what you see, what you know it’s there.
We drove home, ate dinner and got one step closer. To each other, to understanding the purpose of being, to just being and not asking for anything else because just being in the moment is plenty. To knowing that enough and plenty are, as far as we’re concerned, unlikely but decidedly so, synonyms.