Egret Strikes Through

great white egret strikes at a minnow on Black Point Drive in Merrit Island Wildlife refuge

“The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”

– John Muir

My words have felt feeble the last several weeks. As we’ve come face to face with the plague of racial injustice and a plague called Covid, I’ve felt lost at times, disoriented and fearful. I doubt anyone has been spared of this.

Where is our song?

John Muir’s words seem a universe away from the world I’m bearing witness to in the isolation of my living room.

It’s both heavy and humbling to awaken to the discovery that the reason our song isn’t being sung is because we’ve never learned to sing it in the first place. A nation cannot stand in harmony when the screams of the past aren’t reckoned with.

It’s been our turn for as long as the native tribes and slaves who were forced upon this land can remember.

Now it’s our turn to take our seats, to ask questions and then shut our mouths and listen for the discordant harmonies of difficult answers.

It’s our turn to educate ourselves as adults with privilege so we can walk through this mess with our eyes wide open and with our ears attuned to the demands for justice and the cries for mercy.

“I can’t breath.” – George Floyd. 

Until we see clearly, none of us can breath in this crowded prison of disgusting hatred and cringe-worthy ignorance. 

The reason we do not hear the songs sung by the heart of mountains John Muir spoke of is because we’ve failed to learn the melodies in the first place.

What does it take to create a sense of urgency on behalf of fairness and decency?

It takes a bolt of pain so immense and a lynching so clearly broadcast for the world to see that our ignorance had no place to hide. Our egos can only quiver in the stark light of unveiled brutality.

We are like minnows, unaware of the sea we’ve been swimming in.

When awareness strikes, may the awakening be swift and the pain so deep that we not only hear the song: We choose to learn, and finally  SING IT.

Photo Credits:  Egret Strikes  by Susan J. Preston, Black Point Drive, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida © 2019, all rights reserved
Technical: Fuji XT-2 | XF100-400