I cannot capture the sweep of the egret’s flight. I dare not turn away long enough to lift my camera and find the focus. I yearn to share what I see, what prompts the unbidden gasp. I can only sit in my car on the side of the road and marvel.
Dusk falls more gently each night as I arrive home. We inch our way towards spring, when the flocks of snow geese will rise into the wind and fade on the horizon. The egrets too will find their way to warmer fields. We sigh and stare into the sky, already lonely, already counting the days until the return of these majestic creatures.
A lifetime ago, I traveled to Montana to visit a friend. We drove to Glacier Park in the chill of an October morning. As I stood beside St. Mary Lake, I lamented the accidental abandonment of my camera in my suitcase at his apartment.
No worries, he assured me. The photographs you take with your heart will last forever.
I close my eyes and let the image of the egrets find its way into my eternal album, with the smile on my son’s face as he lay in my arms and the tilt of my mother’s head as she watched her grandchildren from the park bench in her backyard on her last Easter Sunday. My friend did not mislead me. Pictures of the heart never fade.
It’s the twenty-eighth day of the seventh-fourth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.