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Behold: A Rare Gift of Immaculate Tranquility

May 19th, 2018 by Michael Dyet


Hmmm, how many chances do we get in a lifetime to experience perfect peace?

An integral attraction of the hobby of birdwatching is the drive to see how many species you can record in a day, in a season or in a year. But I repeatedly try to convince myself that the experience should not be about numbers. It should be about enjoying being in the embrace of nature and counteracting the maddening pace of modern life.

Regretfully, I do not often achieve that hallowed state of mind. But for a few hours one day this week I found the sweet spot. I was taking a rest day from rising before dawn to catch the migrating birds at their most active time. Confession: At the age of 60, I no longer have the energy to go full bore for a solid week.

It was a picture perfect spring day. Full, unblemished sunshine beneath cerulean skies. Warm but just shy of hot. Breezy but a notch below windy. Much too delightful a day to stay indoors. So at noon I relented, jumped in the car and headed to a nearby conservation area.

It quickly became apparent that it was a slow day in the ebb and flow of the spring migration. And perhaps that was a gift. An inner voice rose up whispering: slow down, breathe deeply, cut loose the weight of expectation.

And for once, I listened. Resisting the urge to cover as much ground as possible in the hopes of a big day count, I strolled along the trails, quieting my mind and becoming one with nature. If I had not done so, I might have missed so much.

The stylish Great-crested Flycatcher, which for some time I heard calling – wheep! wheep! – from afar. It came to rest uncharacteristically on a limb beside the trail. Perching in the exact right pose for me to admire the cinnamon-dusted wings and tail, soft gray breast and burnished yellow belly.

The always arresting Canada Warbler that carefully picked its way through the thicket just off the lakeside trail. Showing off its sun-infused yellow underbelly, the chic necklace of short black stripes and its distinctive yellow spectacles.

The dipped-in-blueberry Indigo Bunting which took up residence for an afternoon in the single flowering tree in a brushy woodland meadow. A flash of emphatic blue flitting about with youthful indulgence amidst the spring leaves and snow-white flowers.

The trio of Ruddy Ducks drifting effortlessly at the narrow end of the lake. Their rusty red, chubby bodies contrasted against the black head caps and audacious white cheek patches. Cocking their spiky tails now and then for effect.

For a couple of hours, I was able to gear down, hush the restlessness and enter into the serenity of the placid lake and the spring woodland. I entered and existed within a metaphorical bubble of immaculate tranquility. A gift so rare and so elusive, I could not decline.

These exquisite moments happen so rarely they must be cherished. For all too soon, they are gone and lost to all but the realm of memory.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 janet May 19, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    I am currently leading the prayer course at church. Your entry resonates with me as the experience of God we all strive for – and only achieve when we stop striving. Well written Michael! And I love the photo

  • 2 Michael Dyet May 19, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks, Janet. Yes, it was a spiritual experience – one that takes an effort of will to slow down and recognize. I picked up the photo from Google Images. It was a perfect match for the post.