Thursday, May 9, 2019

Construction Can Take Eons

Driving Quinn to school yesterday, we were listening to The Absolutely Mindy Show on Kids' Place Live. She told a story about an eagle in Kodiak, Alaska, that got ahold of a piece of halibut someone had thrown out because it was freezer-burned. A second eagle then got wind of the feast eagle #1 was having, and a fight for the prize broke out in the air.

I have seen almost this exact thing happen a few years ago visiting my home state of Washington. A heron caught a fish and almost immediately, an eagle came into attack and steal the catch. It is fascinating to watch these majestic creatures that symbolize our country swoop in to try to take what is rightfully someone else's. Metaphors abound.

3 years ago in the PNW - photo by my friend Lara Agnew 
Where we saw the eagle / heron fight
But Mindy was talking about these two eagles, and how suddenly, in the chaos of their dogfight (er, bird-fight), one went CRASHING THROUGH SOMEONE'S WINDOW and landed in her house. The homeowner, Stacy Studebaker, said, ""It was so unbelievably loud. My first thought was: I thought an atomic bomb had dropped and the windows were blowing out." Ironically, Studebaker founded the local chapter of the Audubon Society. 

Mindy went on to describe the mayhem that the eagle caused with its EIGHT-FOOT WINGSPAN and Quinn's eyes went wide as we both imagined the chaos. "That's like the size of a dad, lying down, plus one extra foot on either side," Mindy explained, and we laughed at the thought of a bird that giant in our house. The woman, Mrs. Studebaker, and a neighbor tried to get the eagle outside, 

"But it freaked out again and flew into the dining room and there was just stuff flying everywhere — broken glassware, art supplies, you name it. It was still trying to get out through the windows in the dining room," Studebaker said.

Eventually they maneuvered behind the bird and were able to get it out of the house, which took her and her husband hours to clean up.

"If you could have seen the house, it really looked like a bomb had gone off," she said. "There was glass that had been thrown into a bookcase that was 25 feet (7.6 meters) away and all over the furniture. The carpet was sparkling with glass."

She added: "It was like having a wrecking ball coming through your window — with wings!"

And it was funny, and we were laugh-crying in amazement as I dropped Quinn off at school.

Quinn's wingspan is not quite that of an eagle's
But later, it got me thinking about destruction and how quickly devastation can set in. I mentioned I've been seeing a massage therapist for my neck / shoulder. Last visit, she asked how I was recovering from the car accident. "Honestly? I feel like I take two steps forward, one step back," I said. I was talking about my shoulder, but it could also apply to processing my cancer recovery.

"Construction can take eons," she said.

"What?" I thought, lying with my face smushed into the cradle at the end of the massage table. Conversations are weird when you can't see the other person's face and their knuckles are digging into the muscles under your shoulder blade.

"Destruction only takes a moment, but for the body to recover can take years," she said. This woman is so much more than my massage therapist. She is quickly becoming my secondary therapy therapist.

Years, you guys. One foot in front of the other. Until one day you wake up and the overwhelming, repeating mantra in your head isn't about when the other shoe is going to drop. Suddenly, it is simply gratitude that you can see the other side, that you get to spread your wings and live this beautiful life. I am still somewhere in the in-between, but I am moving forward and taking steps (19,365 a day at Disney a couple of weeks ago).

Acting like movie stars at Disney with my favorite boy

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