Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby Barn Owl, Dead

Taking a detour this morning from the yoga blabla, to indulge another of my passions: animals. In particular, my fascination with dead animals, who offer me the privilege of closely examining them, appreciating their form and beauty deeply. Those who've been to my house know I collect animal skulls, most of which present themselves as I hike in the hills around my house. My husband, though, like the loving loyal cat he is, also brings me occasional gifts, like the time he carried home a vulture (5-foot wingspan) on his bike or the bobcat he stowed under a tree so no one else would take it. Um, as if.

This morning's walk took Jasper and me through the neighborhood, past the house on the corner that I covet for the sole reason that two tall palms stand in the front yard. We've seen barn owls fly to and from nests in the tops of these tall, tall trees; the ground is often littered with their very interesting poops. Seeing an owl is always a thrill.

Sadly this morning we found a little owlet on the sidewalk near the base of one of these trees. I had a thrilling instant of thinking I could take him to WildCare, so those capable lovely angel-people could fix him up and set him free. But he was, alas, irreparably broken, fuzzy little body cold. After very brief deliberation, I re-purposed one of the plastic bags my dog-walking pockets are stuffed with, and carried Baby Barn Owl home. Where I laid him down on the patio table, took photos of him, and generally took in his lovely attributes, the tiny feathers on his face, his great big eyes, his reptile feet, finally laying him to rest with great honors and much love in a clay pot.

Some people might think this is morbid or weird, but when I look, all I see is owly perfection, another beautiful example of how remarkable is the world around us. And actually, when I think about it, this really isn't a detour from my usual yoga blabla, it's the same refrain: delight in what surrounds us, delight in the physical form, delight.

Rest in peace, owlet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It takes a deeply spiritual and connected heart to see beauty in death. My family was mortified when I took photos of my father after he passed. I reviewed those today after reading about the lovely baby barn owl and hold close his peace and serenity and un-sickness.

Girlfriend - your posts always make me cry! In a good way... -Ariana