A Thing of Wonder

Today I saw an owl.

It glided over and lit in my next-door neighbor’s tree just as I was returning from a walk at dusk. There it sat, easily a foot tall and several inches across.

It was a thing of wonder.

It sat long enough for me to walk through the front door of my house.
Long enough for me to shout to my boys, “Guys! There’s an OWL!”
Long enough for them to ignore me.
Long enough for me to quietly slip out the back to get a better look.
Long enough for me to slip back in for a flashlight to see better.
Long enough for me to turn that flashlight on and

Remind me that
A thing of wonder does not need me to
Stop in my tracks
Take a moment
Catch my breath
Stare in awe
Take a picture

Wonder will be wonder,
Whether or not
We bear witness.

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12 Responses to “A Thing of Wonder”

  1. arjeha Says:

    I don’t know that I have ever seen an owl out and about. Not all wonders need to be captured. The wonder is just them being and see inspiring to those who happen upon them.

  2. theapplesinmyorchard Says:

    So many people have seen owls lately, I am so jealous! (Part of the reason it seems this way is that I belong to several nature groups on social media.) I would love to see on in the wild. They are interesting and majestic animals. I also have to say that I completely agree with your take on awe and wonder – Thanks for sharing this experience!

  3. Anna Maria Says:

    There’s an air of elegance to the way they swoop and glide. Do you know what kind it was?

  4. Fran Haley Says:

    Beautifully expressed, in those short bursts … winged wonder coming into your realm. Those last lines on wonder being wonder whether or not we bear witness – magnificent, Lainie.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      But not *nearly* as magnificent as the bird itself. Come to think of it, perhaps there should have been a line in there expressly ABOUT capturing it in words. Ah well…

  5. Darin Johnston Says:

    Our sixth graders go camping together each fall and one of the things they do is learn about owls, taking apart owl pellets, and going out late at night to call owls. Everyone once and a great while, we’d get an owl to call back, but to see one, that is so awesome!

    My goal, to see a snowy owl (they get down in Iowa during hard winters). Someday….:)

    Thanks for sharing this experience with us!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Ahhh, owl pellets! One of my favorite activities. You know, I actually found a few of them in my front yard this past spring. ‘Course, I was the only one in my family NOT skeeved out by them, but what can you do?

      I hope you DO get your chance to see that snowy owl. You remind me of Jane Yolen’s beautiful book “Owl Moon.”

      • Darin Johnston Says:

        Before we moved to our current home, we lived in town next to a tree with a big hole in it. One day, my 7 and 5 year old daughters found a couple of pellets underneath that hole. They were so excited to dig into them!! My wife, not as excited! LOL!

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