My kids and I continued to make lists of the small things that make our lives better. As this was day two of this quick write activity, and the seventh time I’d worked on this entry, it became more of a push for me to find things to add to my list and some of the most interesting possibilities came out of the session. So, tonight’s entry is about my obsession with pelicans.
We saw the pelicans, flying in a squadron formation, for the first time over the inlet between Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island in North Carolina. They were big birds, with a wing span large enough that they seemed to glide more than fly. To me, they appeared so calm, dignified, and steady in comparison to the clown-like gulls that swooped, dove, and chattered. Somehow, I couldn’t imagine a pelican standing at the foot of my chair, staring at me with a beady eye and begging for chips on the beach! This immediately appealed to me.
Later, in a conversation with a tattoo artist- don’t ask- I learned the pelicans are some of the best mothers in the bird world. They’ll tear flesh from their own bodies to feed their chicks to keep them from starving. Talk about dedication! Calm and dedicated- both things I aspire to! And their less-than firm necklines don’t take away from that impression.
I am lucky enough to live on the mid-Atlantic coast, and cross a bridge tunnel complex every day on my way to and from school. Over that last few years, a small flock of pelicans has established itself in an inlet close to the tunnel. Many mornings I see my friends fishing, calmly skimming just above the surface of the water, taking care of business. Any time I spot one, I know I’m going to have a good day. I guess I have adopted the pelican as my personal totem.