Song Sparrow

If Aki could choose a spirit animal, it would be the wolf. Today she powers ahead like one, ready to meet any danger or exploit any opportunity to feed. She doesn’t need wolf-like skills on this walk along the Auk Nu beach. We will hear an eagle but not see it. No crows or gulls loiter on the beach. No ducks float offshore.

If I could choose a spirit animal, it would be the great blue heron. Patient and quiet but able to move quickly when needed, the heron would make a good human. No heron has ever shown interest in me.

I’ve locked eyes many times with the song sparrow. Each time I’ve had the impression that the diminutive bird was taking my measure. This morning, I caught one bathing in a shallow stream, just where it curves away from a collection of flowering thimbleberry bushes. It bounced up and down in the water like an ousel and then plunged its head under the surface, filling the air around it with water drops. It stopped to give me a hard stare before splashing some more.

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