Walkabout: Day 65, Chewing on Vulture

December 23, 2016 ~ Friday

6:30a Morning Pages ~ Vero Beach, FL w/Jim Baird

I slept long last night, and reasonably well. The bed and room were very comfortable, and I am still quite sore from my fall.

7:30a Transfer to Cameron & Julia’s house. I may have to write in fits and starts today. Cameron asked me to help with Grayson while he is at work.

I spent the hour visiting with Jim this morning instead of writing. I have a Facebook post to construct and a couple of messages to reply to also. It’s going to be a busy day between juggling the baby and my writing needs. Fortunately, Grayson and Julia are sleeping now. I have some time to begin. And while I am sure tempted to jump into other fun writing, I know I need to honor my commitment to the morning pages. It’s opening the door to everything else.

I am feeling more fatigue and hunger these days. Perhaps the adrenaline from the travel is wearing off, as I am more settled now and life has taken on a more predictable pattern these last two weeks. I haven’t had the energy to attend to all of my personal business, and I haven’t seen the gaggle of friends I thought I would, being here in Vero again.

I feel badly about that, but my objective was Grayson. All of my available time and energy is being devoted to my tiny new grandbaby. Who is stirring… 🙂

I moved the bassinet into the living room, so I can keep an eye on Grayson and catch him before he gets too fussy. I hope I can get at least my second page done before he is fully roused and needs my attention.

I brewed myself a second cup of camp style coffee, following the keurig cup that Jim brewed for me this morning. The water got to full boil, and the coffee is still too hot to drink. I’m going to try to blow it cool, as I am anxious to sip on it as I write.

There was a message from vulture in my camp at Blue Cypress Lake. I didn’t realize it until the day I left. I had noticed the vultures – there were so many of them. I would see them circling overhead at some near point in the sky from time to time, and I would think two things – Wow! How many!! and Ew!

I know vultures feed on dead animals, and the presence of this many vultures could only signal the presence of many dead animals as well.

They would come near to the campsites, pecking the ground. I imagine they were scavenging for food scraps. They would spread their wings from time to time, particularly in the morning sun, and it is here where I first thought how beautiful they were. There are cream colored tips under all of that black, and the wing span was immense.

They seemed also powerful – and cocky in it, walking around like they owned the place. But if I walked near, they would casually hop off a couple of steps, spread their wings, and lift themselves just out of my way. They did not appear to be frightened, they just didn’t want me too close.

My last morning at camp was cool, damp and overcast. It had rained at 5a, and the rain still hung in the air, like the sky had not given up her all. I knew there would be no visible sunrise, but I wanted to spend my last morning by the water anyway. The mosquitoes were too think and aggressive, so I retreated to the car.

As the light came, I watched the vultures make their way into my camp. I had never seen them so near to my belongings before. They seemed to understand my presence, as they would look directly at me in the car, then nudge themselves a little closer to camp. Look at me in the car, nudge themselves a little closer.

I thought, what odd behavior. Do you know I am here? What do you want with my camp? There is no food out there.

One began to actually peck at one of my tent poles! Once, twice, three times before leaving it be.

Then one flew up onto the back of my camp chair! He balanced himself there for the longest time, and beaked the armrest a couple of times too. Then he fanned out his wings to catch a ray of fleeting sunlight. It was then I wondered… Do you have a message for me?

Vulture is a non-conformist. He does his own thing, unapologetically.

He is resourceful and patient. He does not hunt, and yet his needs are always met.

He is unafraid, and he eats death for breakfast.

He opens his wings to welcome each new day and allows the morning sun to warm and purify him.

Vulture is not the harbinger of death, but he transforms death into life.

He does not coo nor call. He does nothing to announce himself. He knows the power of silence.

He uses all of his senses to detect the resources abundant around him and exercises great patience in claiming his share.

Though most believe him unsightly, he walks with a regal air.

He makes quick work of his work, working smart, not hard. He moves with grace and ease in the sky, circling, watching and waiting until the time is right.

I saw a vulture feather on the ground behind my far. While I have been collecting feathers, I did not want this one. Ew – a vulture feather?! But I failed to see and understand the message this majestic bird had for me. I will try to appreciate him as much as his message, and I wish now that I had not left that feather lying there.

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