It was like a gun slinging show down from the Old Wild West. The steady stares, shallow breathing, and the unspoken dare. Who would make the first move?
My finger was positioned, ready to fire off frame upon frame on my camera. But my worthy opponent, an osprey, would have to make the first move. For the moment, she was content to sit in a tree and stare at me. It could be a long wait.
Earlier in the day I had been watching “my virtual pets” the Decorah Eagles.
I love watching the baby birds flop around in the huge nest, while doting parents care for the babes. It’s fascinating. But like reality television I’m watching life happen, not living it myself.
Later in the day I stopped by our boat. Recently a platform atop a pole was erected next our sailboat in hopes the local ospreys would build their nest on the platform.
They have! We are all excited! It is a much happier arrangement than when they tried to build at the top of our mast. Never successful for them and very messy for us.
Now these water eagles give us the honor of a close look at their beautiful wing spans and the sounds of their territorial calls.
It was exciting to click on my camera as one flew nearby toward the nest. The noise of the camera alerted her to my presence, and she refused to land with me so close. That’s when our standoff began.
As I waited for her to give in and land on the nest (and give me the perfect photo op) I was delighted with how exciting it was to be living this nature encounter, not watching it on a screen. To be up close and personal, really living life.
It made me wonder, in what other areas of life
do I watch from a safe distance instead of living with abandon? Where else can I jump in with joy?
My relationship with God?
What would you add to the list?
Still contemplating my answers long after I gave up trying to outlast the osprey, I did learn one thing.
Ospreys are very patient.
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your strength
and with all your mind;
and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”