The Magic of Nature

Spring – Mid 1980’s

At four years old, one of my first memories is laying on a bare mattress; trying to take a nap. I say “trying” because it was the middle of the day and I remember being wide awake. An invisible breeze twirled into the small wooden panel room from the narrow window above the bed. It must have been Spring.

Laying there, eyes wide open, I heard a soft cry coming from the other side of the window.

“hoooo, hoo, hoo”

My ears perked up.


I heard the sound Over and Over again.

“hoooo, hoo, hoo,”

It became methodic.

“hoooo, hoo, hoo”

I began to fall under its trance, finding comfort in the calls.

“This must be an owl”, I thought.

I can’t recall if I took my nap that day or if I laid there with eyes open. What I do know…is that when I went back out to see the Owl, I hopelessly looked up to see a normal grey mourning dove perched in the tree.

“That’s okay,” I thought to myself. “I’ll see one some day.”

Photo by Amol Mande on

Flash Forward 35ish years….

October 28, 2021

The stars were twinkling above in the black sky that morning while I was stepping onto the dirt trail in Phoenix, Arizona.

Two hours until sunrise.

Each step getting closer, towards that life bringing, hazy candle lit glow of our sun.

My immediate reaction when hiking in the dark is fear. But I know these fears are ridiculous. I am safe on this neighborhood trail. So, I tell myself all the time to embrace the darkness, for without it we would have no light. But, when I start to see this glow, I’m always internally excited for light to overtake the darkness.

 As I stepped from the mountain wash area of gray loose pebbles up to the dirt trail leading up, I heard a strong flapping noise from behind me. Instinctively I held still looking straight ahead, an outstretch brown wings soaring up. My heart fluttered.

I remained motionless on the dusty trail, watching this owl fly above me, landing somewhere in darkness ahead of me.

“I cannot believe that just happened!” I thought excitedly as I began to continue moving forward.

I felt honored. I felt seen.

My inner child felt validated

As I continued hiking, making a curve along the switchbacks, I discovered surprisingly that the owl was right ahead. It stood perfectly in the middle of the trail, taking up the whole width and he was looking straight at me.

We stood there in silence, neither one of us moving. Not knowing at this moment, if I was dreaming or if this really was indeed happening.  This sighting seemed too good to be true.

Photo by Fabio Scaletta on

After a moment, the owl turned away, hopping forward on the trail. Then like a paper harisen fan being effortlessly opened with a flick of the wrist, the wide brown wings spread open and it flew away.

I knew intuitively that this moment, was magic.

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