I had a rare treat this morning. It was just before dawn, around 5:30am. I was outside with the new Bear puppy waiting for him to potty in the front yard. I always go out with him and the weenies when it's darkish, in case there's a stray bear or coyote lurking about hoping for a tasty treat. This morning I was enjoying a cup of tea while I waited, and listening to the Whippoorwill calling from somewhere in the back yard. I love his song, and am fortunate that he and his mate return each year to nest nearby. He got quiet, and I knew he was moving to another spot to take up his song again.
To my complete surprise he flew right across the path in front of me and landed on a log not ten feet away. In the light from the porch I could make out every detail of this elusive bird, even the white stripe around his throat glowed. I stood very still so he wouldn't get spooked. He knew I was there, and Bear was only fifteen feet or so away. For some reason he didn't pounce. He too froze like me, seeming to know what a special moment the three of us shared. Whippoorwill stayed where he was for maybe thirty seconds, then flew up and away to land in an unseen tree along the drive and once again take up his sweet song.
What a blessing, and a reminder of how close to this land I have grown in my twelve years here. I will carry that memory in my heart and enjoy his daily song even more.