Monday, January 31, 2011

On Personal Triumphs

Every year in a small town called Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia, is a four-day event called The Eagle Watch festival. Sheffield Mills is a small town (population 414) where visitors to the official festival website are prominently warned that the shoulders of the road are not as wide as they appear and are advised to park half-on and half-off the road to avoid snow camouflaged ditches. Down-east folks are thoughtful like that. (And they never think to charge for parking.)

Farmers, who once killed the eagles as pests, now lay out a huge breakfast for the raptors and are nice enough to invite those interested to stop by for their own seven-dollar breakfast and to share in the beauty of the largest colony of wintering eagles in eastern North America. Over 2,000 attend from all over. It's a celebration.

Eagles here had once dwindled to pretty well nothing. Now their population is close to 500. It struck me when I saw the photos taken last weekend by my niece Dawna just how able the human race is – to scratch up enough determination to rebound from a situation of almost total destruction and to find meaning and exaltation in the beauty of what transpires from the result.

And it's not just the human race as a whole. This reflects back on us all in small personal triumphs – when we allow ourselves the 'air' to turn what once were dire problems into cause for celebration. Because after all, hey, it's never too late until it is.

Thanks Dawna, for inspiring me to remember that we all have the ability to take ourselves, our communities and our planet, as John Milton once stated, "Where the deep transported mind may soar."


  1. Please let me know where I can order a canvas poster like this! According to First Nations people the Eagle animal sign is very powerful. So is your narrative.


  2. Thanks Barb, as always. Will let you know...