I’m a contrarian.
When others go east, I go west.
And that’s the direction I traveled Friday.
Nature was calling and so were the country roads that follow the Mississippi from Minnesota into Wisconsin.
The drive always picks up my spirits which have been dampened some by recent winds and rain.
I consider myself a spiritual person, and when I’m ailing the river bluffs provide the right dose of medicine.
It’s just past sunrise when I arrive at my first destination. It’s typically a beautiful sunny beach, with a handsome sand bar and a flock of resident white gulls.
My husband’s remains lie just beyond, and I’ve stopped by to check in.
But this damp, gray morning the sand bar is flooded and the gulls are gone.
I shiver in the freezing temps as I return to my car in search of hot coffee.
As I drive, I soon notice an overlook resting higher on the bluffs. I stop to take a look as a hint of sun melts through some of the gray.
I notice a flock of eagles soaring higher and higher above me.
And I suddenly find my spirits soaring as well.
I follow the flock’s path and continue to look up while turning to admire an even higher bluff behind me.
Eagles are considered birds of prey, but I choose to label them ‘birds of pray’ instead.
I honor their courage, strength, and inspiration.
Smiling, I later drive back home after a warm breakfast dodging a flock of wild turkeys and then a speeding car club of 47 vintage Thunderbirds.
I’m sure they’re on their way to admire the autumn leaves and sample some autumn brew.
But I pray they slow down just enough to be blessed by those same vintage eagles.