I’d slept poorly again, waking from my perennial stress dream of failing brakes to putter around the house for several hours. Now, I was bleary-eyed, logy and slightly grumpy–out of focus and out of sorts.
I drove the back roads to work, faintly resenting the need to go in–wishing for a more reasonable schedule or at least some flexibility. Wishing for a good night’s sleep. It was a grey morning–literally and figuratively.
Suddenly, ahead of me I spied the silhouette of a large bird, flying low in the sky. My interest perked. What’s that? Is that a white head?
Sighting bald eagles is common here, but still never fails to thrill me. This one flew low over the road, then over my car. Its powerful wings pumped once, twice, and it soared over and behind me. I swiveled around to see where he went, my view obstructed by trees. Then, remembering I was driving, I quickly and reluctantly returned my attention to the road. Wasn’t he a beauty?
A few minutes later, I rounded a corner and up ahead, three minks undulated across the road in a sinuous wave of dark fur, one after another, practically nose to tail.
“Whoa!” I said, my foot easing off the gas. My jaw dropping. While eagles are commonly spotted here, it’s unusual to spy one mink, let alone three! And just like that, the grey buzz of irritation around me lifted like a morning fog under the rising sun. It felt like there was a blessing on the day. I was in exactly the right place at the right time.
In an instant, the minks slipped into the undergrowth and out of sight. I was so grateful to have seen them–so buoyed once again by the beauty that surrounds me. I pressed on the gas and drove by the spot where they’d disappeared. They were nowhere in sight. But in my mind and in my heart, I carried the wondrous image of them crossing the road, silhouetted against the morning light.
I drove the rest of the way to school with a smile on my face.