i met an owl in the woods {listening for miracles}

Barn Owl Standing On The Moss

All my life

I’ve wanted to see an owl. Not behind glass, not in cage, but an owl in the wild, just standing there, all tall and stately, being wise and wonderful.

There’s a park I go to in the early morning, when the birds are the first ones awake and the air is clear and clean. In the sun they’re singing, winging their way from treetop to treetop, calling out and finding each other, chasing and ducking and diving through the air. In the rain they’re tucked onto the branches beneath the pine needles and the leaves, hopping and floating, chirping quietly.

On this particular morning

it had rained in the night. Not enough so that everything was dripping–that slow, moist drip where when you step back and look you can see the droplets evaporating off the branches. It had rained just enough that each blade of grass had a dew drop on its tip, tiny universes within a universe, a globe within the globe. The birds this morning were still, tucked under the canopy, sometimes chirping, mostly silent.

I had stepped one foot onto the grass, was about to land the other when I felt a distinct pull: sit down.

Right here?

Right here.

It wasn’t a spot I would usually sit in–too exposed to anyone passing by, not tucked up with my back against a tree trunk, feeling its strength through my spine.

I cast about a couple times, looking for another spot, but the direction remained the same: right here.

So I sat down,

right there on the grass, dew drops wet against my shins, trees breathing in and out around me. I sat there and just noticed. The blades of grass were blunt beneath my palm, the air was moist with the memory of raindrops, the sky was softly grey.

Then I looked up.

Right in front of me, standing there all tall and stately on a thick and moss-covered branch, was an owl. Not behind glass, not in a cage, just standing there, being wise and wonderful.

He was looking right at me with his big unblinking eyes.

I looked back at him. Breath in. Breath out. I watched his feathers rise and fall, his head swivel to notice when a new human-made noise rose up, and then watched it circle back to me. And we sat there just like that, just looking at each other, until the world around me fell away and everything including my heartbeat became still.

Then he spread his great wide wings and soared. He was gone.

Thank you, thank you, I thank you.


Watch for gifts, wait for miracles. Listen when you receive small tugs–they can lead to big things.

Much love,


Oct 14, 2014 · Comment

Add your comment