Sunday, July 19, 2009

Turkey Buzzards


Carrying two dead raccoons, a buzzard tries to check in at LAX for the red-eye to New York. "Sorry, sir," says the ticket agent. "We allow only one item of carrion."


I had a revelation the other day. The hubster and I were talking about life and stuff. I decided that if I could be reincarnated I would come back as a buzzard. I know it seems an odd and even disgusting thought. These are ugly birds who eat dead, decaying road kill. They are the garbagemen of the natural world.

But ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by their ability to glide above the earth endlessly. One hardly ever sees them flap their wings, flying hard to stay aloft or evade a pursuer. No other bird pursues a buzzard.

Instead they find a wind current and circle. Gliding in wide circles, riding the wind, looking down on the earth, free and worry free. They know there will be food, for everything dies and eventually they will find it. They are buzzards so they don't care that they eat dead stuff, they don't care they are ugly by bird standards. Buzzards are strong, confident and self sufficient. They have few enemies. No one hunts them for annual Thanksgiving dinner or for taxidermic display. They are not prize winning trophy birds. They serve an essential purpose in life. Their job is not glamourous but it is necessary. They are the servants of the bird world. In a way theirs is a holy vocation. Caring for the remains of the dead. They perform it respectfully, they stay until the job is done. They don't give up. They are steadfast and dependable. They are honest in who they are. They don't wear excessive plumage or pretend to be anything but what they are.

These are qualities that I admire and aspire to. Except the flesh eating roadkill part.

However I see their inner beauty, I admire their grace and ability to glide. For me returning as a buzzard would not be such a bad deal...

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