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beauty hanging on

January 10, 2008

And then yesterday, I was walking home in the remains of the rain down Lone Tree Way. Again, I was next to the rawest part of the landscape, a good acre of torn up earth right before James Donlon, with a little new grass coming back on top because it is now so wet. Out of the corner of my eye I see a flash, and as I turn to look there is a huge white bird flying almost next to the earth. At first, my mind begins to argue with itself—”it’s just a seagull, it looks that way because it’s so low”– and then it lands, and it’s a beautiful snow white crane. It walked up to the top of the hill with this incredible ceremonial gait, like a bridesmaid, and stopped, then walked a bit more and stopped again, looking out over the land. I watched it for a long time, because I couldn’t stop, and because I wanted to see what it was there for, but it just watched and looked, until I finally went on.

I’d like to say the wildlife is hanging on, or fighting back, but it’s not… Like everything else, it lives till it dies, and amazingly, these are still alive, somewhere close. In a few years, perhaps there will not be any left here at all.

Later, when I was almost home, a whole flock of geese flew over, eight or nine.

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