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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Cry of the Owl

The dark woods loomed on my left as I circled round. It was the usual morning walk at about 8 am, but because the clouds hung low and damp and the rain fell soft and fast, there was no dawn to notice. My eyes were trained on the uneven ground anyway, as I’d already encountered a patch of treacherous black ice and I am very unwilling to sprain an ankle.

Suddenly, from the dead, dark woods, came the wonderfully clear call of an owl close by. Again and again. I wished I knew more about birds. Was that a distress call? A good morning – or a good night – call? A cry for a mama owl, or for a baby owl? 

I don’t know. But when I called out for Dusty to keep up with me, the woods became lifeless once more. The owl, sensing danger perhaps, closed its beak. 

Life where least expected. Of course I knew there were living creatures in the woods, but as I trudged round the muddy path, the forest was a homogeneous lump of dark matter. 

How often do I trudge through life past people whom I have given up for dead? Do I even listen for their cry? Or am I so busy chattering away through my own life, that their cries are silenced?

Today, I will listen.

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