Can you cleanse your inner vision until you see nothing but the light? … Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?
~ Tao Te Ching
Up until recently, I’ve never thought of the Turkey Vulture as a beautiful bird. In flight, yes, it is graceful and beautiful. But perched on a rooftop or a tree, or standing on the ground? Not so much.
Watching them as they roost on the pavilion and spread their wings for the sun, I’ve come to see what wonderful birds they are. The scientific name, Cathartes aura, means either “golden purifier” or “purifying breeze.” Listening to their wings as they fly overhead, I think “purifying breeze” suits them well.
When I’m in the woods, I have seen them fly so close to the tops of the trees that I could hear the branches rustle. It amazes me that the trees don’t knock them out of the sky. They can ride the thermals, warm air rising from the earth, and windborne updrafts, for long periods of time. Flying without having to flap their wings as if defying gravity, they don’t have to expend a lot of their own energy to remain in flight because they use other energy available to them.
Mother Nature has given the Turkey Vulture the job of cleaning up. They never kill, just clean up the kills of others. Some believe the Turkey Vulture is symbolic of the cleansing of the soul, and the overcoming of obstacles by cleaning them up bit by bit, day by day, as an offering of service to the world.
The Turkey Vulture lives here on the Eastern Shore year-round. In northeast Ohio, a town called Hinkley celebrates the return of the buzzards (as they call them) on March 15. The return of the buzzards to Hinkley is a harbinger of spring.
The vultures, of course, are not the only big, beautiful birds around here. The Great Blue Heron who regularly visits the lagoon seems to be getting used to us. We can’t get too close, but at least we can get closer.
I reckon that’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this gorgeous Friday. It is wonderfully warm and sunny, the perfect day to spend outdoors. I’ll be in the garden for a while. Feel free to join me out there, or seek out one of the benches if rest suits you better than working in the garden. Sunset is at 7:15 this evening. Since it’s Friday, we’ll bring wine or beer. Meet us out on the dock about twenty minutes before that, and we can toast the sun as it slips behind the trees.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: Lovely, warm and sunny weather; a long walk; spending time with and learning about the Turkey Vultures; a good discussion about possibilities and opportunities; fresh seafood for dinner.