Birding and Priscilla

Priscilla and I arrange to meet in Phoenix. She skips a meeting and suggests we go birding in the Tuscon region.

“Sure,” I say, not very interested. or knowledgeable about birds.

We stay someplace where desert birds abound. Priscilla loans me binoculars and advises me to look at the eyes and wings. At our first sighting, Priscilla turns to me. “What do you see over there?”

I look and search the tree where she points. Hesitating, I say “…a little gray bird.”

“Look at the eyes. Do you see the ring around them?” she says.

Torn between honesty and friendship, I say “Oh, yeah. Now I see,”

“You don’t see it all, do you?” she asks.

“No, but this is fun,” I say.

She gives me this resigned look and we continue to look for birds. I am amazed at her patience with a bird klutz.

I think she finally gives up on me since my responses consists of,  “Do you mean that little gray or little brown bird?”

But she never gives up on our friendship. We continue on our walk to see birds and I dutifully raise my binoculars each time she sees or hears something.

In spite of my bird recognition deficiency, we still have awesome conversations on every conceivable subject except my identification of birds. However, I do struggle to check birds. I see and ask for names.

As a treat, we travel to Tucson’s Sonora Desert Museum hummingbird aviary. Unbelievable! So many species, so many colors. Birds flying backward and swooping around like feathers thrown into the air willy-nilly.

“Look at that, look at that,” we both say so many times. Wonder wells up and gratitude overflows. It becomes a momentous event where holiness sparkles on every wing. They are so tiny to be so stupendous.

It makes no difference that I cannot recognize certain birds or share in Priscilla’s birding excitement. It takes great tolerance for a friend to not want everyone to share in a particular passion.

Nothing can get in the way of this miraculous event. Both of us become caught up in the beauty, timelessness and the preciousness of lives. We remain friends, bonded by many such “god-events.”

by Kaze Gadway

 

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