This morning while on my walk, the forest was so silent. The carpet of pine needles kept my footsteps quiet. So, it was easy for me, and everything around me, to just Be.
I was looking at the hollow of an old oak tree and almost didn’t notice it. I am not sure what caused me to look up. Perhaps I could feel someone’s eyes on me because I knew exactly where to direct my gaze. And when I did look up, I was startled to see these big eyes looking back at me.
He was beautiful… and so close. I was surprised he let me get so close. Strange things happen when you’re quiet on the outside and calm on the inside.
I stopped in my tracks to get a better look, hoping he wouldn’t fly away. He didn’t. He just kept looking at me. We stayed their admiring each other until a noisy cyclist came by and disturbed the peace of the forest and the owl flew away.
His hissing bike said, “I’m here. Notice me!” Meanwhile the cyclist didn’t seem to notice anything but himself. He zoomed by without seeming to see the beautiful morning sun streaming through the canopy above. I doubt he heard the many birds singing their mating calls or the gurgling of the creek down below. He was going too fast to enjoy the natural fragrance of cedar. I heard him wind his way up the switchbacks until the hissing died away.
Once the cyclist was gone, I looked up again. The owl was back! His big eyes were staring down from another branch. So big, beautiful, expressive, and round. I’ve seen owls before in captivity and heard them at night. I’d never seen a wild one that close before. I left the woods filled with gratitude for our encounter. I was so glad he made an appearance for me.