So this strange thing happened to us in February. We are standing on the muddy shoulder of a country road after five hours of tromping about. We focus intently on a copse of trees: is that unusual and cool bird — a possible gyrfalcon — still perched there? Perhaps. Can we stalk closer? Maybe…noo…yess…and
Fast air explodes behind us, jostles past, takes breath away, car rushing past the brains says, look at the road instinct shouts, but the road is empty, look again and
Eagles. Two. Now halfway across the next field, flying low, placidly working their strong wide wings. Not the birds we stalked, but the birds who stalked us.
It is not every day a wild thing of myth buzzes you. Leaves you with a gift of wow. Glides into the next field.
And isn’t that the way of it sometimes? Not just in nature but in life.
You are methodically doing what you do – writing a report or cleaning the basement. Plugging away hour by hour, step by step. And – POW – inspiration dive bombs you with a wind of wings. The report turns into a poem. Or the basement suddenly becomes a metaphor for all we hide in life, replete with images for every box and shelf. Leaves you with the gift of wow. Glides on into the next field.
You try to make inspiration re-appear. Because if it’s an fantastic rush once, why not make this a daily brush with greatness? You go back to where it flew past. Put out treats to tempt feral creativity’s return. The thing is, big inspiration makes a bad house pet. As do large birds of prey. An eagle’s wingspan of 6 – 8 feet is gonna knock over coffee cups. Their droppings leave smelly white streaks that dry hard. Do we really want to clip inspiration’s wings to fit the size of our living rooms? Or starve it so it doesn’t make messes?
Alternately, for those of us who dream of living in a constant creative zone, an eagle’s nest is not a practical living situation for most humans.
(In case you wondered, it also turns out that bolts of blinding revelation don’t make the best lights over the dining room table. Revelation is too high voltage to operate properly with a dimmer.)
So today, walk out where the wild things fly, attentive not only to the sky, but also to the signs of beetle and rat, blackberry and skunk cabbage. Keep feet on the ground of humble ordinary dirt. The mud of that inspiration will cling to our feet, track into our lives, and dust them with everyday discoveries.