The owl moves soundlessly through the trees, displacing air, setting branches into motion in the quiet of doing what she knows how to do without thought.
I almost wrote without conscious thought, but that’s not it. Not right. The owl is conscious, supremely conscious, perfectly in touch with the soft animal of her body. (Thank you, Mary Oliver.) She is conscious, but lacks anxiety, the consciousness of being conscious, of thinking, thinking, thinking, of agonizing over a decision.
Imagine the anxious owl. Okay, today I wlll drift soundlessly (almost) through the woods, dive for the first rodent I see. She spies a mouse. Is it the best mouse, the fattest? Is it ethical to eat a living, breathing creature? a formerly alive creature? A creature like me? Why can’t I be satisfied with seeds, like the chickadee or nectar like the bee? Then the owl laughs at her own absurdity. How would she look hovering in a bed of zinnias? She’d have to eat the whole flower to get the drop of nectar. Ridiculous, she thinks. I’ll eat the mouse, but by then the mouse is gone, and not only does she feel stupid for even considering going after nectar or sunflower seeds, she’s still hungry and thus anxious.
See what I mean? The owl is spared, or spares herself, all that. She’s an owl, riding the waves of air, eating what she eats, living her life.
Wise, wise owl.
© 2013 Kathleen Coskran