Friday, November 17, 2006

The Great Owl

It has been difficult to drag myself out of the sack, get on the bike, and ride in these cold mornings—but I have done it. By Friday I am pretty tired putting in just over 120 miles for the three days I rode into the office. Sometimes it feels like a blur, these days on the bike. The sun is so intense and low in the sky—I can’t see very well, and now I only start to feel safe as the sun slips behind the mountains in the evening on the ride home. With all my flicky-lights and reflective tape on my bike I know that when automobile lights hit my ride, I light up like a Christmas tree…

I wish I would have had my camera this morning, because as I neared the library’s entrance, I spied on top of the old water tower, built in 1924, an incredibly large Great Horned Owl—warming himself in the morning sunshine. He was magnificent and regal, and the sun made him glow with a kind of golden halo. What struck me was how big and bad-ass he really appeared.

They say that dragons are a mixture of everything that used to hunt early humans—talking about memory that comes from evolution that’s in our DNA—when the things that used to prey on us were snakes, large cats, and birds of prey.

A dragon is the combination of all three of those creatures; the fangs and eyes of a cat, the wings and the talons of an owl, or a hawk, and the body of a serpent. Evolution favored those early humans and animals that could recognize those dangers and thus flee.

My thoughts are that my bike riding has made my super-aware of things around me—sound and movement. Riding on some of the more dangerous roads, a rider has to stay pretty focused—at least I do—always watching for something lurching out, or some car suddenly cutting me off.

So naturally when I’m off the bike and walking to the office, my senses are still turned up super high. Catching an owl turning his head slightly to get a look at me gets my attention—for a moment my ancient DNA / Pleistecene Man toggle switches fire.

We are all of us basically still Pleistecene people, yet we live in an Industrial Age.

I know this because the owl told me this morning.


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