As we were looking back through our journals this morning to confirm the timeliness of the blue bird, we noted a post about Bob and Forrest seeing the Sandhill Cranes up at Beartown this time last year. The world was still white and wintery, the boys had made it up there on snowmobile, crossing the newly exposed river and creeks to reach the high country. There at the wide, white, open flats just below treeline, was a group of cranes. How I wished I was there to see those majestic birds standing in the open waters surrounded by the snow, embraced by the very tops of these mountains in all directions.
And then this afternoon, a funny thing happened. I was sitting out in the sun “gardening” (well, transplanting a houseplant from one pot to a larger one, the real gardens are still buried by a foot of snow), when I heard a strange and distant sound. I tried to place it, but could not, and then it was gone.
No more than an hour later, when returning from grooming those shaggy, shedding horses, I heard it again. Louder this time. Clearer. It is an unmistakable sound, unforgettable to all who have heard, as distinct and chilling as the screech of the red tail hawk, for whom we will begin listening next week. I looked up to where the sound was coming; squinting as I scanned the side of the mountain for what I knew had to be there. It was. I hollered inside the cabin and called for Forrest to have him to take witness.
I can not find words to describe the feeling I had as we stood there in the mud and snow around our cabin, so far away from anyone or anything else it seems some times, and to watch the Sandhill Cranes, just four of them, flying two and two together, in an updraft along Ute Mountain, circling higher and higher, their voices carrying down to us in perfect clarity, with the sun shimmering on their backs and huge silver wings, until ultimately, they cleared the 12,000 foot ridge, and faded off into the endless blue sky beyond.
The blessings of this magnificent world are overwhelming at times. Powerful, humbling… I am reminded that little else matters. I still need to be reminded. Too often, I still put importance on troubles, pressures, problems, disturbances, conflicts…. Why? What really matters? The answers are different for each of us. And yet, so much the same.