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“At Dawn Where Two Worlds Meet”

The Bluebird Word, March 2022

Nonfiction by Hope Nisly

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

The light of early morning is magic, pure and simple and full of possibility. I believe this, even when I am rudely jolted awake by the ring of my phone and it is barely light out. A voice asks, “Can you be ready in five minutes? I’ll pick you up. I want to show you something.” Because the voice belongs to the quietest of my five brothers, the one who seldom displays strong emotion or succumbs to any hint of urgency, I respond quickly and without a clue of what might be coming.

Now here we stand quietly at the fence row of a neighbor’s farm. We are looking out over a convocation of bald eagles, at minimum forty, that landed in a field newly-covered with the aromatic debris from a farmer’s barnyard. I take a deep breath and hold it, as if any movement or sound might obliterate the tranquility of this early morning tableau.

In several weeks, this field will be covered with green shoots pushing up through the rich, muck-covered soil. This morning, however, it is covered only with majestic birds that swoop and peck at the dung, hunting for a mischief of mice or a labor of voles too slow to evade their talons of death. The eagles, so recently snatched back from the edge of extinction, ignore our curiosity.

In the pink glow of the rising sun, our shoes damp with dew, all hints of our political differences have faded into the shadows of this flood of early light.

Words are superfluous in this light. Side-by-side, we stand in silence and solidarity and hope, basking in this breath-taking view of these birds of prey. I am content to stand quietly in the lengthy early-morning shadow cast by my brother, this quiet man whose soul is full of love for all living things, who wants to share this with me just because I am; just because he is; just because we are.


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