I was content with my morning, I was on a trail. This morning, a unique morning, was becoming part of my life, part of a past that would shape my future. Spring was working its way back into the fauna, back into the fabric of nature. I had paused earlier, paused and observed the miracle of pollination. Floating on blurred wings, a moth reached for nectar, its proboscis exploring one flower, then another and another. It was a delicate dance, a symbiotic exchange. Nourishment needed for life, fertilization needed for another generation. All that I witnessed was funneled through my senses, a virtual proboscis pollinating my thoughts. The vision probed inward, my feelings as random as the moth’s choice of flowers. Simple beauty combined with a complex process, all of it giving me tomorrow, giving me a reason to come back, creating a need to write, a release for all I had absorbed.
A solar powered sharp-shinned hawk slowed my gait. Collecting energy from a rising thermal the raptor remained aloft on motionless wings. Streaking down the bird exchanged stored energy for speed, left my sight and raced into my imagination. I envisioned conflict, a struggle for life, victory for one, a loss for another.
Most of my hike was behind me and I was looking back, filtering the morning’s wildflowers and wildlife through hazy thoughts, my path winding through sage and scrub oak. Stopping, I watched a coyote diverge from my trail and disappear into the sage. Anticipating his movement, I pointed my camera and snapped the shutter.
Coyote on the Edge
The picture revealed more than the moment, it revealed my past and my future. I was on the edge of civilization, overlooking an airport, the focus of my 42 year aviation career. The coyote was enveloped by nature, moving towards an unknown future of freedom in the outdoors, a path I intend to follow.