Birds speak myriads to people...They speak of beauty, of music, of freedom, vividness and color. They speak of all feelings felt but un-expressable in our human ways. Some even speak of mystery and mysticism. And all is spoken through the heart. The messages that are heard are as varied as the people themselves. There is much to be seen, heard, and learned through the many different eyes, minds, and thoughts of even the simple people.
On a recent trip to the coast we spent many very windy days at the beach. Some days it was so windy that I felt like the Lord must be angry at us, but then I thought of these two bible verses: "He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the water, who makes the clouds his chariot, who walks on the winds of the wind..." (Ps 104:3) and "He causes His wind to blow and the waters flow..." (Ps 147:18). Perhaps the wind was not in anger, but more of a way to get us to notice more of the surroundings and to see how true our love of the ocean was. Were we going to tuck tail and run from the stinging sands that were sand blasting our legs as we walked the beach, or were we going to stay and endure yet another mood of the ocean? We love the ocean...we stayed...we endured...and we were blessed with the sights of many wonders and left with feelings of awe and feelings that have to be felt because they cannot be expressed in words.
About mid week I awoke early to the sound of nothing more than the laughing gulls speaking to me. The wind had laid down and all was calm. Just like that. The clouds were also laying low and heavy. With the sun shining in our hearts we headed to Ramp 44. We just barely arrived on the point when it started to sprinkle. Sprinkles turned into a light rain as we scoured the beach for gifts and found several nice whelks. We continued on down the beach to arrive at the spot where we had been squatting all week. It was the meeting place of the terns and the gulls with others dotted in. There were four species of terns, three species of gulls, dunlins, ruddy turnstones, willets, sanderlings, black-bellied plover, piping plover, and semi-palmated plovers. Making an appearance from time to time were the american oystercatchers. We had been observing this group all week--by slowing down and spending time with them, they spoke much to us. At times we felt like one of the crowd as they let us enter their world and into their personal lives. We watched their comings and goings. We listened to their conversations and watched their passions and fury towards each other. We learned quite a bit that week by living a simple life and opening our minds and hearts. We listened as they spoke to us.
It was not long before the rain began pelting down. We retreated to the truck with our binoculars and scope and continued our observations from there. The waves seemed to be showing some discontent as they rolled in harder and stronger. And yet the terns continued to sit--seemingly content for the time being--facing into the wind~always into the wind. It rained for about an hour and we continued watching from inside the truck--watching the birds, watching the waves, watching a mood of the ocean. As it started slowing down our visibility improved so we moved our observations back outside. The rain had moved on, the skies were still heavy and a thin wavering fog moved in. Thin and a bit eerie it seemed to have a voice of its own. And we listened. And suddenly~seemingly out of nowhere there were two black-necked stilts and a whimbrel! After having been there all morning watching the birds it seemed as magical as it was mysterious, that these birds seemed to suddenly appear from the fog and was standing in amongst the other birds trying to blend in. Being the striking birds that they are it was hard for them to blend in as they towered over the others. They became mystic birds to me as I wondered where did they suddenly appear from? Were they migrating and get caught up in the squall and come in with the rain? Did they magically appear out of the fog? Their beauty combined with this sudden appearance spoke the "myriads" alone to me that day. We watched them for quite awhile and even tried to photograph them~the fog seemed to keep obstructing the view as if it did not want that air of mysticism to fade from us. I do not think it ever will. The day, the moment, the memory is etched in my mind. It will always remain magical. But, being etched as it was I had to take one more look before I left...and don't you know they were gone. Just as mysteriously as they appeared from nowhere...they disappeared in the same way. Was it real? Oh yes, It was real!