100,000+

Tonight, as I was heading down to feed Sunday her dinner, I heard the news that our country had passed a very grim milestone. Tonight we mourn over 100,000 lives lost to the Corona Virus.

As I was taking in that awareness, during my drive to the ranch, a storm moved in, fast and furious. The skies darkened, the winds began to rage, and thunder rolled in the distance.

Everyone hurried through their chores and left the ranch. I took Osa for a walk around the ranch, feeling that a huge rain was imminent and knowing she would need a walk before it poured. The sky continued to darken, and the winds were howling as we walked, but only a few drops of water came down to the ground.

Just as quickly, the storm passed over us and as we arrived back at the car, I looked up. There was a beautiful rainbow against the dark sky in the East. The wind died down and I loaded Osa into the car. I started up the long driveway out of the ranch, to get to the top of the hill. About halfway up, I looked over at the rainbow knowing it would be in full view. A flash of light caught my eye and 10 ft from my car window was a huge juvenile Osprey, perched on a dead branch. The light from the Western sky lighting him up against the dark Eastern sky, with the rainbow still glowing over the landscape.

I was awestruck! I realized I did not have my camera to capture this extraordinary moment and I was truly saddened by that, as I have a dear friend who is an avid birder. She would have been thrilled to see this stunning scene. I imagined Nancy, sitting with me and the excitment she would feel, as we witnessed this moment together.

In the next second, I realized that we didn’t always have the ability to capture a moment like this on film and that perhaps THE MOMENT was in the BEING and SITTING with this stunning bird of prey. We sat together for almost 5 minutes, me watching his movements, studying his beautiful face, the black kohl stripe from his eye to his wing, marveling over his sharp beak, the soft white tufts of feathers on his head, blowing in the breeze and feeling his majestic presence and spirit, as he looked out over his territory.

Moving Sunday to this sacred land has been an incredible blessing for both of us. I have seen my horse come alive. Truly alive. The truth is, I have NEVER seen her this happy in all the time we’ve been together.

I know how healing nature is for me. I know how healing it has been to be able to be outside with her and my animals during this time, breathing fresh air and spending most of my time out of doors.

Somehow, it all feels tied together, this day, the milestone our country knew was coming, the grieving families, the huge toll this virus has taken on all of us and our planet.

I called Nancy as soon as I got home, to share what I had seen. My wise friend shared with me, that she is seeing birds that generally just pass through Colorado, and that they are choosing to stay here. She said she feels they are coming to help us heal, showing us their beauty and their ways.

I may not have had my camera tonight, but that moment will be forever etched in my minds eye and I’ll be pondering the Osprey’s “message,” for some time.

For those who have lost loved ones and friends to COVID-19, tonight I mourn with you. I am deeply sorry for your loss and the horrendous heartbreak you have endured, as likely you were not able to be with your loved ones, as they battled for their lives. It is also likely there has been no closure, as ritual, ceremony and gatherings were not allowed.

To my friends and loved ones who suffered and have survived, I am forever grateful you are here with us.

And to those who have been on the front lines in any and all ways…thank you.

And just as I finished this writing, four hours later, the sky opened, and let her tears fall….Amen.

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