The Sandhill Crane’s meadow is being torn up. I wondered what the Crane would think when they came back to the meadow to find that it is no longer theirs. Land developers have taken it over, as they did when they filled in the marsh and cut down the old woodpecker’s tree.
Every year I watch the wild birds on their seasonal migration. I watch how they find their own place, first in the skies and in the trees. Some stay throughout the cold weather; others find their way back to the same trees and the same fields, year after year.
I anticipate their return, especially the Sandhill Crane. I know they are back when I hear them honking their arrival as they fill the skies. Within days I see their tall necks rising over the scrub-brush. Marching up and down through the fields and meadows, their long legs bent in awkward angles as they search for food. Now I feel sadness, wondering where they will go.
A pair Sandhill Crane came, standing at the water’s edge across from the meadow. They seemed somehow lost, unsure of their surroundings. They stood there looking at what used to be their meadow. I have to believe they will find another meadow in which to feed, and raise their young. They adapt because they have no choice. They must survive.
Together, we watched the meadow that was once the place of the Sandhill Crane being plowed under for greed rather than good. Yet there was poetic justice. At the edge of the meadow a venue of Vultures stood sentinel. Flying above the man-made chaos several more circled around and around in a persistent vigil. They seemed to know that nature itself was again being sacrificed.
Going to my own home, I noticed the nighthawk fly above me as the sun faded into shadows. I listened to the sad sounds of the dove in the cedar tree. I now understand why the dove is mourning.
~McGuffy Ann Morris