In This Season

Image by Bob Wood
By: Dean Keller

Those whose faith is in the Lord, will find renewed strength.
They will rise up on wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary…
Isaiah 40:31

In this season, in this part of Colorado, there are bald eagles all around us. Some who have made their homes here for many years and have been recognized and given names, watched and supported in some ways by the community. Many others have come from elsewhere and are just passing through. They are the majestic symbols of our country, of strength, independence, determination, faithfulness and freedom.

A news story recently showed us one of these magnificent birds in a different light. This individual, fishing in the winter, had developed a large ice ball attached to its feathers. The added weight did not allow it to fly. Left alone this bird was probably doomed. Happily, someone was able to help. Helping this handicapped bird, as you might imagine, could be a dangerous undertaking. These are very strong, independent wild individuals. Handling such a creature, one could be severely damaged. Somehow, someone managed to do it, and the picture emerged of the eagle in someone’s hands being held gently while warm water slowly melted the difficult ice ball away.

Someone found this individual in a very difficult position where feeding themselves and staying warm and safe was not possible. We don’t know exactly how this situation occurred or how it may have been avoided. We don’t know anything of the bird’s partner or family or if they could have helped. We don’t know if there was impaired judgment involved or if this bird was just a little lazy and was trying some unorthodox method of hunting. We don’t even know if this was a local resident or a just a transient.

Someone saw a disabled bird in need of help. Someone found a way, most likely with the help of others, to risk bodily danger to themselves from a frightened and dangerous animal. Approaching and handling this damaged creature that still had the ability to strike out unpredictably. Someone’s hands gently held it until the warmth of the water could melt the encumbrance away and the beautiful bird could rise again and in taking flight become once again an inspiration to us all.

A simple story, a disabled creature, someone who noticed, someone who risked themselves, others who supported the effort but took no risk, warm water that thawed and melted the ice, gentle hands to hold, inspiration. So many roles we play in a lifetime, some chosen, when we can, some we wake into, doing our best to be what we were born to be even with the ice.

love never exists
as a fact

it is a verb
and you can do
all things
with or without it

it is nature
in action
being true
to itself
without even
a thought

~ Benjamin Dean

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