I knew this pelican had witnessed many of Nature's phenomena, including storms, very high winds, heat, cold, ocean swells of every calibre. He may have had to deal with hunger and sickness. He clearly had lived a long time for a pelican so I would say, he was successful as the wonderful life form he was. As a baby bird, he had managed to move past that tricky period where he had to learn how to successfully dive and catch his prey. Young pellies don't all make it past that stage. It is harder than it looks to nail a fish from high in the air.
Why am I remembering this wonderful time spent with a wise old bird on the edge of my being very aware of what people are going through up North in the wake of the storm? I think it has to do with the concept of wisdom itself that that bird represented to me, and how life is all about how you live it in the moment, how you respond, what you care about, how do you feel about others, how much do you flow with events, do you understand how everything is connected. How did I get all that from a pelican? That isn't even the half of it. I got that living in the wild is a slippery slope and, if you live long, that is ofttimes the exception and not the rule, but that length of days is not what is important. Did you love your life? Did you learn and grow? Did you ENJOY your every day experiences. If you can say yes to those things then, storms can have their way with you and you will not be deprived of the best life has to offer.
I remember it was hard to get up from sitting next to this bird, but there came a point in which I felt the need to give him some space. The transmission was complete. I walked away and did not see him again but he is with me always. He remains a reminder that life is a gift and that the wrappings of the gift can be strange, and not to be put off by that. We are lucky just to be able to have our experiences and choose how to receive them.
That particular pelican is gone but he lives on in all the other pelicans here. I never tire of watching them do their pelican thing. Every day that I watch them and soar with them is one more day the gift of life registers big time. I hope many of the coastal Northerners look up during these days and weeks ahead and catch a glimpse of a swooping pelican. That one glimpse could make their day.