My husband and I traveled to waaaaaay southern Illinois this past weekend. There’s land in Galatia that’s been in my family for generations and while there’s not much of the old farm left today, there’s still 40 acres of woods. They’re lovely, even if bare this time of the year. We walked with our girls and taught them to look for signs of wild life. Tracks, scat and sounds. We heard treefrogs, discovered coyote or fox scat, and followed along a deer path, the girls exclaiming with glee at every cloven hoove-tramped muddy patch we came across.
What they loved most were the turkey vultures circling overhead. While the girls tried to mimic the treefrogs, got grossed out by the scat and loudly shouted at every deer track they discovered, the vultures silenced them. They stared up, the pale sky reflected in their eyes and for once, the forest was the loudest thing for miles.
There was magic in that moment. I wish I could bottle those few precious seconds and keep them safe on a shelf. I’d save them for the first time the girls’ hearts were broken, the first time the world let them down, the first time they questioned life, because there is no peace like that which nature brings.