Sharing an odd train of thought. I drive to work every morning on Main Street into Old Town Cottonwood in Arizona. I see our beautiful mountain and our gorgeous blue skies. And sometimes, as I enter Historic Old Town, on the left are some very old pine trees and sitting atop them, early in the morning, are about 24 turkey vultures. Yep. Buzzards. Ugly yet beautiful creatures with enormous wing spans and huge black feathers. They often roost on those trees at night. When I come driving by in the morning they are often in different stages of preparing to head out for the day.
Some still have their heads tucked tight, dozing in the dawn sunlight. Some have their wings just barely open, pulled away from their shoulders in the typical vulture posture. And some have their wings completely unfolded, showing their impressive wing span as they drink in the warm sun and get their blood moving after a cold desert night. (Yes, for those that don’t know, as hot as it gets in the desert, it gets that cold at night.)
I smile every morning when I drive by those birds. These birds often represent death but for me it reminds me of my twin sister who I lost less than 2-years ago. It reminds me of the love and determination she had to live, pulling her unseen wings out every morning, stretching them wide to the sun to be there for those she loved. Living.
They are beautiful birds.
And sometimes, I get a pain of sorrow, when I drive away from my work in the afternoon to do an errand or lunch, and I see one of them still roosting on the tree. I think to myself, “Oh no. He wasn’t able to fly this morning. He wasn’t able to join the others. Something’s wrong.” Yet he (or she) sits there, perched like a statue in the pine tree.
And again I think of my twin. Who wasn’t able to get up that last morning. Who left before I could say good-bye.
Her chair is empty now, much as the top of the trees are. Vacant of the one that couldn’t fly away. Only she did. She did fly away.
And now she’s soaring.