I Kissed an Owl

I think we've fallen into a Harry Potter movie tonight. It was a hot day. Hot. Like 103º at our place, according to our fancy digital weather doo-dah. We spent almost 3 hours in the kayak after Rick got off work, watching uncommitted little thunder clouds turn from white to yellow to pink while the hills went softly pink and green, the sky beamed shades of turquoise to rival tropical waters, and the lake reflected all of it in rolling swells from the ski boats. The air was heavy and wet and hard to breathe. All day I was questioning my love for Ashland, like a fickle girlfriend who has just discovered that her boyfriend has ugly feet or a goofy laugh or some other trivial thing that can break an early relationship in pieces. We only dragged ourselves back to camp after the sun had gone down, and whipped up a quick stir fry to eat outside by the light of the Tiki Torch.

The buzz of the campground seemed to keep time with the quickly changing weather, and before long the clouds had gotten organized and there was lightening and thunder in the distance. Lucy quivered under the picnic table. Poor old dear is terrified of thunder. Heidi napped in the trailer. We took in all the sounds and images as we ate our grains and greens, listening to the Mexican oom-pah music playing in the picnic area by the lake.

Then there was a frantic greeting from a teenage boy in the camp, and I jumped up thinking he wanted to buy some firewood. Instead, he held out a dark little handful of fluff, and said, "I think I've found your owl". I went sort of dizzy for a moment, wondering how he had read my blog post from several weeks ago, and known about the little owl I'd had such an amazing encounter with. He couldn't know, but it still threw me off balance. He must have meant it in a more you run the campground, so this must be your owl sort of way. I reached my hands out, feeling that it really was my owl, and was dismayed to see that the poor thing looked almost dead. But only almost. And not dead is still alive.

Rick and I sat with it under the awning of the trailer, as fat raindrops began to fall. Lightening and thunder crashed all around us. Campers scampered into tents and cars. Lucy whimpered under the picnic table until I remembered she was there and let her inside. The owl just lay there in Rick's hands, quiet one minute, flapping feebly the next. We decided to do what bird rescue places have told us numerous times, and put him in a small box in a quiet dark place. This is not our first bird rescue, not by means.

I checked on Owl a few minutes ago. The rain has stopped and the air is cooler. Owl is in a shoe box with the lid offset and weighted. It bumps around a little every so often, but generally looks and acts really stunned. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I'll go out and check on it. I really hope it recovers and lives to fly free in the morning. Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I kissed the owl before I left it. Just a soft little kiss on the cheek. It seemed to need the reassurance. And how many opportunities do we get to kiss an owl in this life? Not many. It was so soft, I couldn't even feel it.

I won't be a bit surprised if it's fully recovered in the morning and ready to fly off in search of breakfast. I also won't be surprised if it's dead. Either way, I'll be honored that it came to us. And I'll try to find that young man who brought it here and tell him how it all worked out. He didn't look like Harry Potter, but he did have something sort of magical and knowing and special about him. I don't know what it means when an evening lines up the way this one did, but I'll bet it means something.

~~~
Update - Next Morning:

Sadly, the owl died while I slept. I feel bad, but there was nothing more to be done. I think it was pretty badly damaged, poor thing. At least he died in my studio, and not in the glare of the campground bathrooms. Have to look at the positive in things, and remember that death is part of life. It's OK.

Kind of quiet here this morning, inside and out. On with the day...

Comments

Zoe Nelson said…
Do you think it was the same Screech Owl that visited before? I've sent up a little prayer for it.

Several years ago my ex and I nursed one back to health after it ran into the side of his car. It seemed to have hurt it's eye. He picked it up and it rode home on the passenger side head rest. We did the box thing over night and when we determined that it could see OK we turned it loose. We named it "Winky" and now every time I hear one I'm sure it's the same one saying thanks. Now, I'm just sorry it didn't kiss it!

I'm really hoping that the one that you're helping is doing well this morning.
Kim Miles ~ said…
I'm glad your story had a happy ending Zoe. :o)
Anonymous said…
Oh Kim, I am glad your little owl had the opportunity to get a kiss from a loving human. Yes, a small dark box lined in TP is often comforting to the little guys, but I like to hold them as my personal warmth keeps them from shock and comforts them - or so it seems. It still is a sad story. Norine
Michelle said…
Ahh, Kim, what a lovely story. Poor little owl, but I'm glad he had the chance to have some love in this world from you and Rick and a kiss too ! How special ! Dear little soul.