ature is man's teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence. ~Alfred Billings StreetOn my way to work on Friday morning I surprised a flock of thirty wild turkeys having a block party in the middle of my country road. I say "thirty," but that's simply an estimate. Trying to count turkeys while they're doing their "Oh My Feathers Here Comes A Behemoth Let's Get The Flock Out Of Here" scurry is a little tricky.
Most of them moved en masse into the woods to my right. Two didn't know which side of the road would be the better choice and spent a couple of seconds weighing their options. One finally quick-strutted off after the crowd, and the other, whom I was trying to herd, very slowly and gently, with the car ("I suggest that I drive over here; you go that way.") decided that taking to the air was the best idea. I watched him (I think it was a jake, an immature male) rise almost straight up, with those wide strong wings stretched out, the feathers spread. Twenty feet above the road, between the bordering trees, he turned in a circle and headed toward his flock. I lost sight of him as he flew into and among the bare branches.
I smiled: This is what It is about. This goes on.
"Wild turkey teaches us about the need to cultivate skills of cunning and agility. It is important to know how to read your environment and react in a way that preserves your way of life; this involves noticing that a certain situation has the potential to get dangerous for you, and knowing how to extricate yourself from it safely - and unnoticed where possible. Wild turkey is excellent at teaching people how to avoid arguments and unnecessary confrontation, through using skills of observation, cunning and agility."
Listen: I know there are turkeys galore in these fields, but I don't remember ever having come upon so many at such a short distance.
And listen: I know that this totem stuff might be a bunch of hooey.
But then again . . . interestingly, my workday was quite unusually pleasant.