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There are miracles in the summer sky
Before this summer I had never heard the call of a nighthawk. At least not that I’m aware of. But now I can step outside as the sun goes down and in a backyard lit by fireflies hear their tinny warbling beeeee as they hunt the skies for beetles, moths, grasshoppers.
They won’t be here for long, I suppose in both the casual and cryptic senses. Their numbers are plummeting worldwide, these little birds. But what I really mean is that in August they are at a caesura in the middle of their migration between northern Alberta and southern Brazil. They travel these thirteen thousand miles each year on wings that span less than two feet attached to a body that weighs less than ten ounces. What wonders they must see in all that distance, what strange bugs they must devour, what twisted trees young and ancient they must land on each night as they seek safe passage between continents in their soaring, persistent survival.
And along the way here they are, circling above my Michigan backyard as the sunset deepens to indigo night, happy and free in their hunting. It makes me feel holy, chosen. This sight no less special than a shooting star. These sounds no less wondrous than the tumbling of a river. It is possible that there are no miracles but existence and attention.
Thanks, as always, for reading. I’ll talk to you next week.
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PPS- Look at this guy. I mean, c’mon.