They must have been talking to me for at least ten minutes, but I didn't hear them, too caught up in my human conversations to notice. It wasn't until my friend's 16 year old son, raised with an ear for nature, asked if I heard the cranes. It was only then that I realized I had been hearing their chortle as background noise for quite some time. Looking upward, we saw Sandhill Cranes spiraling around and around in a circle, gaining altitude with each turn. In a matter of minutes, they were too high up to hear or notice, but the fact that I had almost missed them altogether left a lasting impression. I have been missing out on a lot of nature lately as all of my time and thoughts have been consumed with preparing to move. Recognizing how distance from nature brings about distance from myself, I was reminded of the following passage from John O'Donohue's book "Eternal Echoes":
Unlike us, Nature does not seem to suffer the separation or distance that thought brings. Nature never seems cut off from her own presence. She lives all the time in the embrace of her own unity. Perhaps, unknown to us, she sympathizes with our relentless dislocation and distraction. She certainly knows how to calm our turbulent minds when we trust ourselves into the silence and stillness of her embrace. Amongst Nature we come to remember the wisdom of our own inner nature.
Nature grounds me, keeps me whole and true to myself. The cranes calling to me today were a reminder of that need.