Nature has so many surprises to give us. The beauty of colorful places. The majestic sites of mountains, waterfalls, marshes, and beaches. The awe inspiring skies. The diversity of life. Cold winds and warm breezes. A sun bath or a rain drench. Snow or mud. Volcanic eruptions or hurricane winds. Quiet or sounds of birds singing. And we simply sit among it sharing its grandeur.
Occasionally, there are moments that are beyond holy. The quiet cold morning on Jekyll Island when my youngest and I were wrapped in blankets sat on the beach watching her first sunrise together. Dorothy is the quiet observer in the family. So moments like these are enhanced by her presence. You can feel her appreciation in the almost electricity that flows off her body and by the ever so quiet sigh of joy.
This is why she probably has magical moments I do not when we are in Nature. Nature approves her quiet appreciation more than my bursting out in eulogy. Once on a boardwalk in Francis Beidler Forest, she was walking with the rest of the family. She was fifteen yards in front of us when suddenly we saw her stop in her tracks and look over the fence to a cyprus tree. Sitting on a limb on the tree was an owl. It was no farther than four feet from her. It was eye level. It studied her. She studied it. The rest of us stopped in our tracks mesmerized by the two. They were separated from us by an invisible wall. Dorothy turned her head slightly and the owl followed. She whispered to it and it replied even once letting out the classic who. I do not know how long they stood there together, after all it was a moment of eternity which cannot be measured. Dorothy turned to us with the biggest grin on her face.She was welcoming inside her world. She turned one last time to look at the owl. The owl took flight over her head as it flew by she could feel the wind from the owl’s wings. She shared no words about the experience but the glow around her said it all.
At the end of the trail is a hollowed out, several stories high cyprus tree that you can stoop into and look up and see the sky through the tunnel of the tree. Dorothy was the last one in and she looked up at the sky. I asked her, after she had come out, if she had seen anything so amazing. She looked at me with patient eyes and said an owl Dad an owl. And this is the story: I am always on to the next adventure and she keeps her eternal time.