Finding one’s place is lifelong journey

By Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

Sometimes we get the unique experience of touching a piece of the natural world, in a small but significant way, that reminds us we are a tiny part of a much larger creation. Without events falling together in a precise pattern, it would not have occurred.

With Earth Day approaching, events of that kind might take on a special significance for those who love both the outdoors and the beings with whom we share that world.

On Monday, my stepdaughter was called in to work for the noon shift, and since it was too late for her to arrange for the Clovis Area Transit System bus, I altered my schedule so that I could take her. As we drove south on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, I saw what appeared to be a rust-colored sack flapping in the road.

On my return trip, I realized it was not a sack but an injured bird. Concerned over what I might find, and not being in the mood to perform a mercy killing, I drove for another block or two, then turned around, steeling myself to do whatever needed to be done.

The injured creature turned out to be a female kestrel (pigeon sized raptor), in very good shape except for her injured wing. I hooded her with a plastic bag I had in the car (those little talons would still cut like razors) and took her to my veterinarian up on North Prince Street. She confirmed my guess that the bird was in good health, and placed the hen in the infirmary until she can be transported to Espanola for either flight rehabilitation or to become an educational-use bird.

I am sure I am not the only person who finds raptors fascinating; men and women for centuries have responded to these beautiful birds of prey. I am equally sure I did not rescue her because she was a kestrel; had it been a mourning dove, quail, whatever, I would have still done so.

Outside of the experience of briefly holding this lovely bird, which it is completely illegal to “own” without special training, the experience caused me to think about timing and circumstance. If Amanda had not been called to work, if she had not been able to respond on short notice, if I had not been available to take her, if we had been a few minutes later or a few minutes earlier, the list goes on and on.

In addition to the Earth Day-related thoughts about our place in the ecological web, then, it raises thoughts about the way in which events, timing and circumstances weave together to place one in the right place at the right time. With all due modesty, not everyone would have known what to do or how to handle a wounded raptor. I suspect that finding our place and listening to the voice in both these divine networks is a lifelong journey.