i love my life. you never know who you are going to meet or what could come of even just one open-ended question. such as this weekend, one thing leading to another, i find myself on a bird walk with people i had not even known just 24 hours before.
turns out they are staying at my neighbor's bed & breakfast and J works for the oregon department of fish & wildlife. as an audobon leader, he knows his birds. letting me use his $3,000 high-definition binoculars, he quizzes me on the difference between a red-tailed hawk and a sharp-shinned hawk. "wait, shh...did you hear that? nuthatch. ruby-throated hummingbird...do you know your red-winged blackbird from this one...ah, darn, i'm so finch-challenged..."
the morning could not be more perfect and, while he teaches me advanced birding skills ("pileated woodpecker ahead, two-o'clock!") i ask E about her artwork and she shows me pictures from her camera and social media site. it is tagged "make art not trash" and she gets to travel the world (most recently norway) creating marine sculptures out of found garbage. some of her pieces are traveling the world as well, raising awareness for conservation.
together they are a powerful force for ecology and i realize i can learn a lot from both of them. and all of this because they were actually late to an event.
i return the binoculars and thank them for everything, "i'm so glad you were late to the event," i say, "so that we could meet". and with exchanges of information and a desire to keep in touch, we go our separate ways, but all better for taking the risk of connection.