Life List 2010: See a Bald Eagle in Nature (CHECK!)

If this was VH1’s “Best Week Ever,” they’d be featuring me.

Today, I drove from my hometown to my current town then out to a friend’s cottage. We drifted around on inner tubes, went for a pontoon ride on a pontoon that hauls, swam in the water, ate some delicious food, shared great conversation, enjoyed beautiful weather and warm water, and then went on an adventure!

I was talking about my life list for 2010 with my two friends and the parents owning the cottage. We started brainstorming about where I should go to get my camping experience and debating what constituted a “real” camping experience. Then, I mentioned my desire to see bald eagles in nature.

Come to find out, bald eagles were nesting four miles from the cottage as of last year. It caused such a scene that the locals put up “No Parking” signs along the road to deter all of the tourists seeking to see them. In fact, the parents had gone last year. Biked out at around 8pm and saw them.

It was 8pm when they relayed this story to me. Could this be fate???

We all piled in the car with cameras and binoculars and started our journey. I fully anticipated a fun trip with anticipation and excitement but no actual bird sightings but I was SO WRONG. We immediately spotted one between the trees. Only it wasn’t bald. It was brown from head to toe. That prompted some Googling on my MotoQ and I quickly learned that bald eagles’ heads turn white once they’ve matured. What we were seeing were young bald eagles! We spotted another one perched on a dead tree that was a bit closer and also saw their huge nest. The first one we spotted was actually right at the edge of the nest and it chirped its beautiful song for us over and over. <-Check it out. The first one is the one we heard.

Words can’t explain to you how thrilling this was for me. I wish they could. I immediately attempted to contact everyone who would understand how filled to the brim with excitement I was feeling at the moment.

The sightings were followed by sightings of herds of deer. My spirit guides.

A baby bunny.

A flock of robins.

I LOVE nature. I’m on such a high right now. I don’t know why I don’t live somewhere where I can see this on the regular. You know what that means? After Grand Rapids, my goal is to find myself some nature.

Cloud 9.

Corporate returns were due today. Hope you extended in time.

Perhaps I should lay some ground rules for myself in keeping a blog. I think it’s important to commit to some sort of regimen – not that I’m giving up on living spontaneously – but if I don’t set out a plan for this particular venture, I might forget some of the lessons or moments that I want to remember or, worse yet, allow myself to slip back into old habits without any sort of accountability. So here it goes: Weekends – at least twice – and weekdays when my heart is moved or my day allows. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

I digress…

Do you ever get the feeling that you will look back on a particular time in life with a somber fondness? Each day lately has at some point felt very… intentional. I don’t know how else to explain it. I don’t even mean to say that everything that has happened has happened because I have purposefully led it that way – because that would be far from the truth. But I do believe that there is a reason I find myself right here at this point in my life.

My aunt and I went on a walk yesterday morning. The weather – cloudy and a little misty – had gotten the better of her and we began talking about how much sunlight (or the lack thereof) affects our attitude. I suggested going for a walk so we put on our shoes, sweatshirts, gloves, and coats and took a stroll around the neighborhood. She knows so much history about her neighbors and the area. I think it’s fascinating to listen to someone reminisce about (his/)her past. It’s almost as if she finds the joy of discovering a place all over again by recalling details that she forgot she still remembers. I love listening to people recount situations or times in their lives.

I was telling my mom the other day that I felt suddenly overwhelmed with a sinking feeling that I lack anything interesting to say because I always find myself listening and rarely talking – but I think, in all honesty, I just really enjoy listening. I think we all need the opportunity to remember things that we hoped for or were excited over or dreamed of. And it’s contagious. When people get going, they often stop conversing with you and begin conversing with themselves or their past; it’s a captivating transition and always prompts me to look into my own past for forgotten excitements/hopes/dreams. I think a lot of times we’re all so excited to share our own stories that we miss those moments…

Hmph… now that I’ve written it, I feel compelled to erase it; the thing about this experience is that it takes one person to talk and the other to listen – so please don’t come to me with the intention of listening, having read this, because we will both walk away feeling sorely disappointed.

However, if you’re inclined to read – I could write all day. Why write what you often won’t hear me say? Some people think it’s brave to write – braver than speaking – but I think that’s all wrong. I could go into how much easier it is to backspace than take back what I might say but it’s not really about filtering. In fact – if you have the desire to get to know me, you will most likely learn more here – in a shorter span of time – than you would in person. I suppose that may or may not be true but the truth is, I could write all day because I am under the belief that a lot of people simply won’t read what I write. Here’s a scenario: You’re in a situation where you want to be completely, unabashedly honest with someone but you know the timing is wrong or the words won’t be received the way you want. You get the opportunity to “pause” and say whatever you need to say and when you press “play,” you continue on without any reaction from the other person but this weight is lifted from you. That’s writing for me.

I have a recent obsession with James Morrison. The song choice today may become one of those somber fondness melodies – the kind of somber fondness that makes you want to crank the radio, turn down the windows, with a smile on your face, and sing at the top of your lungs. So perhaps a little less somber and a little more fondness. Regardless – it’s worth listening to. On repeat. Several times. “Precious Love” James Morrison

Did I mention I saw six deer walking through the neighborhood while on my walk with my aunt? Lovely.