FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Great Egrets Return

Flying low, beneath an invisible sun the Great Egrets return. Not white on white but gray on gray and their long legs laid behind them There is no wind. They make no sound. An adornment of plumage trailing is bride price and dowry in which the beating heart of migration, all purpose, all destination resides. To feed. To breed. To continue. To exit, and enter once again.  What syntony, to reappear on this the first true fog of the year.

The fog is a soporific. Mesmer in his cups might dream of a fog like this. That sponges light. That muffles Time. That drowns all the remaining senses into deafness. So thick, no curl of turbulence follows them. So dense, it swallows them. An obliterating fog in which that brief exegesis which makes them visible is almost illusion. The mind is slow to grasp and for that the amazement of spirit is large, and lingering. The day will cling to this and I know it. The days that follow in a subtle way will be moistened by what is seen right now and therefore will not be the same.

On the downbeat and the upswing all together, wide wings beating slow that their speed deceives. How fast they go nine in a row riding the wet the all-obscuring element neither water nor fire. So low, a rogue wave might swallow them. An errant snag capture them. A fallen oak collide. Like planes, lost and pursuing the crude serrations of the shore hoping for a familiar place of landing they cannot land until they know and are sure. Millennia of passage are their guide.

And in the length of one held breath the gossamer billows and divides and they are gone.

At last and as the day is ended one alone follows on. Straggler, late as late can be and hold to the way she comes, as certain as absence, quavering, and the grainy dusk thickening with night. This is the Grand Finale. She will not pass this way next year. And yet, and still, her path a revelation All Wise: That birds when they die do not return to dust, but into air.

MARK SETH LENDER’s Salt Marsh Diary is a regular feature of “Living on Earth” (nationally syndicated on NPR). His nature photography and writing can be seen at www.SaltMarshDiary.com.

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
Brian Cloughley
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Ron Jacobs
Donald Cox: Tale of a Panther
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
REZA FIYOUZAT
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
John W. Whitehead
The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs
Jeff Cohen
Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama 
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
The Masculinity of the Future
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
Peter Mayo
US Higher Education Influence Takes a Different Turn
Martha Rosenberg
New Study Confirms That Eggs are a Stroke in a Shell
Ted Rall
The Greatest Projects I Never Mad
George Wuerthner
Saving the Big Wild: Why Aren’t More Conservationists Supporting NREPA?
Norman Solomon
Reinventing Beto: How a GOP Accessory Became a Top Democratic Contender for President
Ralph Nader
Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs
Tracey L. Rogers
White Supremacy is a Global Threat
Nyla Ali Khan
Intersectionalities of Gender and Politics in Indian-Administered Kashmir
Karen J. Greenberg
Citizenship in the Age of Trump: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Jill Richardson
Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Puddle Jumping in New Britain
Matt Johnson
The Rich Are No Smarter Than You
Julian Vigo
College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education
Brian Wakamo
It’s March Madness, Unionize the NCAA!
Beth Porter
Paper Receipts Could be the Next Plastic Straws
Christopher Brauchli
Eric the Heartbroken
Louis Proyect
Rebuilding a Revolutionary Left in the USA
Sarah Piepenburg
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Robert Koehler
Putting Our Better Angels to Work
Peter A. Coclanis
The Gray Lady is Increasingly Tone-Deaf
David Yearsley
Bach-A-Doodle-Doo
Elliot Sperber
Aunt Anna’s Antenna
March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail