A day comes every season when winter is in the air.  All denial, based on unseasonable balmy days and abundant sunshine, fades into gray skies and damp air.  It has nothing to do with official dates—those of us who live close to nature just know.   On Sunday my husband urged me to take our usual afternoon walk but one glance out the window gave me the chills.  Not to be shamed by my preference for warm and cozy, I bundled up.  We avoided the woods as several shots had been heard from hunters getting ready for opening day.  Looking over the lake from the dock we spotted a large bird gliding through the steely sky—and soon realized it had to be an eagle.

High above us, the splendid bird gave us a show. The sky showed slight variations in hew so that when the eagle soared and floated on the wind currents, it often passed a lighter spot.  The movements were so carefree and playful. Shivering from the cold breeze, I should have been walking briskly, but couldn’t take my eyes away from him.  I wanted to hold onto what no photograph could portray even if we had been close enough to try.  I carry the image of one elegant bird that lifted my spirits by bringing a little “shine” on the day when I knew, from my head down to my boots that winter had come.

                                                   And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
                                                  Bear you on the breath of dawn,
                                                  Make you to shine like the sun,
                                                 And hold you in the palm of His Hand.
                                                                                                   Michael Joncas, 1979 – “On Eagle’s Wings”