What would you be

I believe I was on my way for morning coffee when I pulled the truck on to the shoulder to watch the sunrise. I opened the window to improve the view and thought I might grab some muted color with the HX9V. As I composed the shot and steadied myself, I heard the unmistakable calls of Canada Geese. Silly things, for they were flying north. Perhaps they were making their way for a quick bit of breakfast in some standing corn and bean fields about a mile or so further on. If you could be another sort of animal for a day, what would it be? Given my intense fear of heights, I find my preference for being a bird for a day, somewhat surprising. But there it is. I’d like to be a bird because, first off, it might cure me of my irrational fear. But also, I’d like to be a bird because being free of the ground would be rather nice, I think. Maybe that’s why I used to enjoy SCUBA diving when I was a kid. Although flight wouldn’t provide that same sense of weightlessness that one experiences under water (unless I were to fly parabolas) it would free me from the inexorable pull and feeling of push beneath my feet. Even though I know, under the influence of gravity, I’d plummet if I were to stop beating my wings, I think I’d feel less subject to what I sometimes feel can be that oppressive force, if only I were able to soar the skies above. I’d especially like to be able to head up into the wind, on an appropriate day, and rest, motionless, turning my wings and my tail from time-to-time to adjust my attitude. I’d like to fly quite high, for just a bit, to take in the glorious view. I believe I’d spend most of my time skimming the tree tops and looking down into the woods. I would be very interested to discover, for myself, just how easy flying really is. Birds make it look so easy. To be sure, my choice of species would be an important one. For who would enjoy spending the day as a vulture? Although I like Penguins very much, they don’t fly (through the air in any case) and live in quite crowded rookeries which I would not enjoy. Birds of Paradise are the most beautiful birds I know, but their forest habitat seems close for my taste. Hummingbirds are  a real fascination but I think the frenetic pace of that life would exhaust me. Species that participate in leks or live in harems are out of the question for being too socially complex. I abhor the thought of life as a nest parasite like the Cow bird. What then? An owl perhaps? I like the idea of being able to fly silently. I like the idea of being able to turn my head through such a wide range of motion. I’d like to be able to fly through the woods under cloak of darkness. I fancy the idea of using my face to channel sound to my sensitive ears. I think they’re regal. Handsome. And, truth-be-told, I like the association we make between owls and wisdom. So, there you have it, I’d like to be an owl for the day. What’s your preference?


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