One Fall afternoon, during my college days, I ditched class for a self indulgent escape from the hectic work and school schedule, which had all but drained me dry. I drove alone out to Cave Run Lake and to my delight found it completely void of other humans. It was a gorgeous day, just chill enough for a sweater or light jacket in the dampish woods surrounding the deep gray waters of that Appalachian loch. I found a trail sloping up toward the lake a half mile distant and headed off into the thick canopy of of oak, maple and chestnut.
As I moved on up the hill along a trail beside a wide, dry run-off, a flurry from behind caused me to pause and turn toward the sound. The forest was bathed in a cascade of komorebi, diffused by the humidity rising from its humectant floor, and from below where I stood, a murmuration of dappled light was seen in the near distance. The only sound, the rush of a hundred beating wings as a flock of Eastern Bluebirds and their zephyr of cool air breezed past, then disappeared into the glare of sunlight at the top of the rise.
Time was warped to the fleetness of dripping honey for their close passage, details of individual birds and feathers made manifest, under normal circumstances which could have never been discerned. Surreal blue flashes as shafts of golden sunlight danced off wings and bodies of their undulating flight. As the last of the host flew past, time returned to its normal cadence and in a flash they vanished. I stood there for quite some time motionless, replaying the whole panorama of that moment’s sights and sensations over again in my mind, until it was engraved forever in the book of my memory, which I will carry ’til my dying day.
Occasionally I take the page of that short passage out and relive it again, just to remind me of how wonderful it is to be alive and in a world with other wondrous living things.
– Kristina K. Bruce