Visited by an Angel

By , December 2, 2016

Last week I was visited by an angel, and I’m ashamed to say I squandered the moment.

I sat in the outhouse in the morning, listening to an audiobook through headphones and doing something insignificant—maybe changing the toilet paper. Whatever it was turned me away from the usual face-front attitude.

I felt an ever-so-slight pressure on my right knee. Just as that sensation registered, I heard and felt rapid fluttering up my right side, rising and passing my ear!

I looked behind and above me, then all around, looking for what must have been a small bird. Then, right outside the half door of the outhouse, I saw one of our resident Pacific wrens on the tree an instant before it disappeared.

I felt so blessed, yet a bit shamed and disappointed. One of our friendly little wrens actually came and lit on me for an instant, but I’d been too distracted to realize it!

To make matters worse, I’d just been thinking that very same morning about the importance of being present in the moment.

The day before, Michelle met our old next door neighbors from Juneau on the ferry, and took them up the river to see the annual bald eagle gathering. At the end of the day, she commented to me that she’s glad that, even though she works for a tour company, she doesn’t guide frequently. “It’s too much talking!” she explained. We agreed that, if we were to become tour guides here, we would try not to talk very much, because the silence of our region is one of its many unique qualities.

But, I was almost at the end of my book, so I plugged into it for entertainment in the few short minutes I spent in the outhouse. And, in that time, when an angel came to me, I was too busy to notice it.

I’m not always so distracted. I’ve seen wrens come and perch on the low door of the outhouse and look inside. These moments have gladdened my heart no end. The bugs they seek in the outhouse are often there, they’re not likely to disappear soon. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open, just in case I get visited again!

For more on our Pacific wren neighbors, see What’s in a Name?, and Cock of the Walk.

2 Responses to “Visited by an Angel”

  1. Linn Hartman says:

    Your Back Your Back in good form – aw the outhouse – years ago I was on a ranch in Wyoming – the outhouse had no door – one of the old hands said the view was too good to ruin your morning ease with a door to ruin the moment – have a good day

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi Linn, yes, view is very important for our outhouses. The main one has a big window next to the seat of ease, looking out on the ocean view. Not sure why the half door, probably because that’s all the bigger the “Danger: Explosives” sign that serves as the door was. The cottage outhouse has an even better view, and is open above the waist on all four sides.

    There’s a book around with photos of Alaskan outhouses. I’m not sure ours would qualify for that, except for the views.

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