Thursday, April 28, 2005

Mighty Lord God 

G woke me up this morning, shouting that the radio said a story was coming up, a story indicating that the ivory billed woodpecker had been found in Arkansas. That woke me up all right. I turned up the volume on the radio and as the story unfolded I felt tears well up in my eyes, felt my heart pound. How can this be? How can this creature have survived such environmental onslaught? And how utterly transcedent to have found one alive. African Americans used to call it the Lord God Bird, because of its imposing size and striking appearance. There's a wonderful passage in Faulkner's The Bear when the boy is searching for the bear in the heat of the Big Woods, listening to the hammering of the Lord God bird...and the bird stops its hammering as the boy realizes the bear is looking at him. I have read Faulkner's story of the vast wilderness many times, and lamented the passing of the woods and swamps, the massive trees and the creatures within.
This morning my heart was made hopeful, made lighter. The world is lighter for this confirmation of life.

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