I always inspect the hills when I step outside the house, my eyes scan for movement, my ears check for rustling. I heard a sort of honk-honk, it sounded like geese, but I don’t usually see them land in these parts, only fly over. I then see two bobbing heads up on the hill—Turkeys. It’s Sunday, I’m trying to take care of neglected recycled goods that have overtaken the kitchen. Enough is enough, I must start taking bags of paper, pop cans, and plastic containers out, not to mention the two full garbage cans out on the deck—but I’ll tend to those later, at least they are out of sight. When I proceed back into the house for one more bag, I see a bird in flight. It looks like a beautiful hawk, wings expanded wide, I stop and follow with my eyes and watch in awe, perfect sight—a cross soaring through the sky—a perfect trail and then he lands and to my surprise, it’s a big Turkey. Rarely do I see Turkeys in flight, mostly I catch them walking between the hills, up through the winding walkway from one side of the hill to the other, stepping up through the miniature mounds of grassy hillside outside the house, bobbing along, slowly, carefully and usually there are two or more. But Sunday, I was gifted with seeing this bird, this Turkey with softer eyes. He was a sight to behold.
One last trip to lock up and when I walked back out, there were four feathered bodies across the hill. Ah, a family. I couldn’t see very clear, but I vaguely saw that the feathers were open. I went back up, unlocked the house and grabbed my binoculars. It was like a second gift for taking the time…The mother and father walked slowly, close together as they kept their eye on the young. I felt that they sensed my presence. They let out their familiar gobble-gobble, and as I watched through my binoculars, I could see her turning, and as she turned, to show her full dress, I saw her exquisite fan of feathers from the back, splayed for all to see. I could see her from all angles, as she kept turning. In the moment, I was so amazed to see this bird transformed before my eyes, to have a greater appreciation for this large bird, with a name that doesn’t do it justice. I can still see the fan in my mind’s eye, and the grace of the flight and the dance she seemed to be doing, as she walked beside her partner, all sights on the young, all the while catching her partner’s gaze.
I couldn’t let the moment escape, so back upstairs to my little notebook—to remember—to try to describe what I saw—what I felt. Then I was free to go. Now here transcribing, reflecting—appreciating those wonderful Turkeys in a new light.