In my next life I want to come back as a Great Blue Heron.
I will majestically stand by a lake, capturing fish, capturing the eye of all who wander by, pausing in awe and desire.
And I will have the one thing I know I now lack, that trait that has escaped me for far too many years, patience, the ability to stand and stare until the moment is right, then to act. I am not in a hurry for this reincarnation, so perhaps I have more patience than I realize.
Even long after he had left his childhood behind, or such of it as he had actually had, he could still stare up into the night sky, at ceiling of stars with more than a little awe.
And even though he had left childhood behind, no one had yet answered the one question his parents ducked time and time again, one so simple a child knew its answer, but asked anyway, for validation or irritation.
If God created the heavens why did He or She arrange the stars so that people could see in their order other people, lesser gods and all manner of animals?
I saw the sun rise this morning over Mt. Hood, the glow that announced to the horizon its approach. There should be in the life of every man, every woman, that moment when seeing dawn lift, peel back the shroud from Mt. Hood causes the sudden intake of just that much extra breath that like the sky’s morning flame we are consumed by the moment.
It is her time and she knows she is ready for this moment, has been for eons, knows it will come again but none here will remember this day. She stares at them, but they ignore her, and she grows angry, her visage reddens as she slowly retreats, know the interloper will move along, hoping that her return later will provoke the sort of interest she deserves, the sort she know she should command. She teased them weeks ago, but this moment must surpass that, and will, if only the clouds play along with her. She knows clouds are fickle, but even mother nature usually concedes if only begrudgingly, and tonight should be one of those occasions. She will not see them gather, but her arrival will be heard in the collective sigh and the memories she knows they will carry into their eternity.
It was sunrise, he was on the banks of the river, and he knew, in that moment that he would remember the scene, if not the name of the river, or where on its banks he was, that was of no consequence at all, only the beauty. When asked about it, he would say that it was an obscene beauty, although he knew people would question how anything obscene could be beautiful and anything truly beautiful could be obscene. He could not hope to explain this, but it was simply obscenely beautiful, if only for the few moments it took the sun to further erupt from the river. When he would describe it, and they would engage in a nervous twitter he would laugh, not a giggle, but the deep, oblivious laugh of the child.
He imagines what it might be like to come down out of the foothills and roam the mesa, unseen unless he wishes, a complete freedom. And even if he chooses to be seen, he can take whatever shape he wishes, and they would see him only as he chose, for only as long as he chose. Even now, he knows, they see him as they wish, see what they take to be him, but which is an illusion, for even the mirror presents only illusions — you cannot see others, cannot see your self, can only grasp the illusory world and imagine it finite and tangible. The coyote knows better, and that knowledge makes him a shapeshifter with which man could only marvel and fear.