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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Sunday, August 26, 2012


At about 6:00 last night the fir tree in front of the house received a visitor, a blue heron. It flapped up from somewhere down the shore, lit on a branch in the middle of the tree, preened and stirred for fifteen minutes, then rested, motionless, back to me, front to the bay. Two hours later, the light had almost gone but I could still make out its shape. Presumably, it stayed the night in its shelter of needles and twigs. It was gone when I woke at sunrise.

I guess it didn't mind another kind of wooden house looming just 50 feet away. It felt no kinship with its fellow biped, gray though I too am becoming. It turned its back to the glass and the electric lights of night, preferring the smooth surface of water dusted by starlight. It slept vertically and awoke (I hope) refreshed, rather the opposite of me. It doesn't know about feather pillows, food in cans, furnaces, consciousness. It roosts where it wills, and leaves as it wishes, when its needs drive it on to the next shore. It's a hard life. Comfort is simply a full belly, a protected roost, until danger and hunger come round the next time. Lucky bird, to have so many homes, and no house.

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