I have huddled on the edges of mountain cliffs and stood high above the ocean while a frigid wind beat against my body. I have cast weary eyes on the face of my newborn son. Many wonders exist in the world, a fraction of which I have beheld.
But yesterday, I came around a bend in the road and braked, stunned by what I saw. In a long wide pasture, cows grazed, their heads to the ground. Their charcoal hides dappled the pale surface of new vegetation growing under their feet. A large flock of geese had landed in the field, white dots interspersed among the brown bovine bodies. As I watched, the geese bobbed their heads downward, picking for grubs and tender shoots, I suppose. They had no objection to the massive beings wandering near them, nor did the cattle bother the fowl.
I can’t say why this struck me as beautiful but it did. I sat in my car on the empty country road. I wished again for a real camera. My cell phone could not do justice to what I saw. I reached for it anyway, stopped only by the sound of a motor, a vehicle approaching from behind me. Reluctantly, I put my car in gear and continued onward.
I heard the owl outside my house as I settled for the night, a polite sentry or a shrewd hunter, depending on your view. His night-time call tells me that he has no concern about the tin boxes scattered across the park holding humans who think themselves in charge of their land. I put out my light but he kept calling, in a language too old for me to comprehend. I took comfort from his song, whether or not I should.
It’s the fourteenth day of the fiftieth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.