Finding the spirit in nature has never been as easy as stepping out of a car at a scenic overlook and oohing and aahing at the view. It takes effort and more than that, it takes time. It is observing until noticing becomes knowing, where knowing is not simply the facts, but knowing inside yourself where you are in as many different meanings as you can conjure up... and in many meanings that you cannot. In fact, knowing the facts isn't all that important. It is becoming aware and opening all of one's senses, especially the senses that biology has not discovered. I have not put my time in for that, yet.
I miss the water mammals most. The otter and harbor seals, and especially the beaver were spirit animals for me in my west coast travels. They were creatures that helped one cross the boundary. I have not seen any of them here, yet, but I do see loons. They winter here and they are a power to be reckoned with. They will lead somewhere, I will follow.
|the smaller red throated loon|
I put in on the calmest day I have yet seen here. Long Island Sound is almost glassy smooth. Low overcast disappears the horizon. The tide is rising but will be of little interest as I head up coast. I push brants ahead of me at each rock outcropping and when I get to the next point, where there are rocky islets, I find a few long tailed ducks.
|the larger common loon|
As I cross the next cove, new water to me, a common loon calls to my left. It dives and a few moments later surfaces to my right, perhaps a swim of 150 yards. It continues to vocalize as it swims off, its head rising just a bit with each call.
When I get to that next point I recognize it as the neighborhood that some new friends live in. I round the point until I can see New Haven in the distance. This is far enough.