FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Great Egrets Return

by MARK SETH LENDER

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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
Bruce Dixon
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party
Edward Hunt
Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria
Matthew Kovac
Is the Flint Water Crisis a Crime Against Humanity?
Mark Harris
The Revolutionary Imagination: Rosa for Our Times
David Rosen
America’s Five Sex Panics
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia: the Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All
Jack Heyman
Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack
Kim C. Domenico
Marginalize This:  Turning the Tables on Neoliberal Triumphalism
Brian Cloughley
Trying to Negotiate With the United States
John Laforge
Activists Challenge US Nukes in Germany; Occupy Bunker Deep Inside Nuclear Weapons Base
Jonathan Latham
The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside
Russell Mokhiber
DC Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox Won’t Let Whistleblower Lawyer Lynne Bernabei Go
Ramzy Baroud
The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner
Farzana Versey
The Murder of Muslims
Kathy Kelly
At Every Door
David W. Pear
Venezuela Under Siege by U.S. Empire
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuelan Opposition Now Opposes the People
Uri Avnery
Soros’ Sorrows
Joseph Natoli
The Mythos Meme of Choice
Clark T. Scott
High Confidence and Low Methods
Missy Comley Beattie
Glioblastoma As Metaphor
Ann Garrison
Organizing Pennsylvania’s 197: Cheri Honkala on Frontline Communities
Ted Rall
What Happened When I Represented Myself as My Own Lawyer
Colin Todhunter
Codex Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations
Graham Peebles
Europe’s Shameful Refugee Policy
Louis Proyect
Reversals of Imperial Fortune: From the Comanche to Vietnam
Stephen Cooper
Gov. Kasich: “Amazing Grace” Starts With You! 
Jeffrey Wilson
Demolish! The Story of One Detroit Resident’s Home
REZA FIYOUZAT
Billionaire In Panic Over Dems’ Self-Destruct
David Penner
The Barbarism of Privatized Health Care
Yves Engler
Canada in Zambia
Ludwig Watzal
What Israel is Really All About
Randy Shields
Matters of National Insecurity
Vacy Vlanza
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: Through Eyes of an Activist for Palestine
Cesar Chelala
Dr. Schweitzer’s Lost Message
Masturah Alatas
Becoming Italian
Martin Billheimer
Lessons Paid in Full
Charles R. Larson
Review: James Q. Whitman’s “Hitler’s American Model”
David Yearsley
The Brilliance of Velasquez
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail