I looked at my feet, lost in thought. He made me this path so I can walk and remain close to the house. When the weather is agreeable, I walk. Some of my best ideas come to me when I walk.
He asked me once, why I never seem to look up. Why do I not notice things around me when I walk? Years of living in a city where I was one of eight white people may have something to do with it. My life was under constant scrutiny. In the grocery store, they would sometimes look at what I was buying in my cart. On the street they'd talk about me as I walked by. "Foreigner," a man would say loudly. A child's voice would echo the same. Blue eyes and brown hair don't exactly allow one blend in an Asian country. At 5 foot 8 inches, I was taller than most of the women and some of the men. I'd look at my feet because I wanted to avoid those stares. The ones where eyes seemed to burn through your being, reminding you that 'you are not like us.' I still walk with my eyes shifted downward.
The noise, that noise startles me. It sounds like a pack of coyotes and I run to the house anxious to find my husband. "Come," I say, motioning with my hands. He comes outside, and we look up into a sky of blue. "What is that noise?" I ask, and then state, "It sounds like a bunch of mechanical coyotes." He looks up, and says, "No, it's a flock of birds migrating." We stand for minutes on end watching the birds. "Look, they aren't flapping their wings, they are gliding." We watch them form a 'v' pattern and glide. He figures it out as we watch birds clump together again when they seem to abandon the 'v' pattern. "They are catching a thermal and riding it up, and then gliding," he says. We watch them circle and regroup. Then, we come in the house and he reads. "We've just seen a flock of sandhill cranes on their way to Nebraska," he says, and then continues, "they will fly all the way to Canada, Alaska and Russia."
"I've never seen such a large flock of migrating birds," I say. The still day caused their chirps to carry, and the sound disturbed my walk-with-my-head-looking-down. It was one of those crazy beautiful timeless moments I'm not sure I'll every have the privilege of observing again. Beautiful cranes, amazing creation, a bird that instinctively knows how to glide about 200 miles a day.