I took a few days off in March, with my dog Izzy, hoping to hang with Sandhill Cranes in Monte Vista. I decided to forgo the big festival weekend with all its crowds and craziness. My first impression was that Monte Vista was a surprisingly small town for such a big festival. With no tourists, or festival, there wasn’t much left to explore. There wasn’t even an obvious way to find a Sandhill Crane.
On my first morning I got lost several times trying to find the entrance to the National Wildlife Preserve, where, presumably, there were cranes. As it turned out, there were geese, ducks, yellow-headed blackbirds, and more than a few quirky ducks. But no Sandhill Cranes. I did get to see a “fogbow” (think ‘rainbow made of fog’), which was pretty cool. But Sandhill Cranes were a no-show.
I’m sorry to admit there have been too many periods in my life when this kind of disappointment would send me into either a tailspin or a fury. These days, after I get over myself, I remember that help is usually a prayer away. I prayed to find cranes. What I got was this gift: “Enjoy the day we’re having together. Let that be enough.” Sure enough, the mental fog lifted. I felt freed from my prison of petulance and irritation. I began to enjoy the many creatures I was blessed to see. A yellow-headed blackbird sang a lovesick plea to his ladybird. Canadian geese honked warnings at intruder geese. Hawks soared and dipped, buffeted on bumpy currents of air. The nature trail rippled with trills, chirps, squawks, and, an odd, soft tribble chatter coming from fields of sage and tumbleweeds behind me. Guess who, it turned out, was making those strange noises? God is good – always and everywhere – as long as we’re looking and listening, and praying!
-yours along the way, Teri