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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beauty All Around

We had to do a lot of running around yesterday. I had to go to my doctor's office to have my usual monthly finger-poking. Then we had to drive across town to University of Colorado Hospital to pick up some of Trent's anti-rejection medication. The hospital has been doing some expanding and changing in the last several months, and it can often be difficult to find a place to park. It was even more challenging when the Emergency Department was located by the pharmacy, and they shared a main entrance.

The ED has moved to a different wing, but parking was still pretty challenging yesterday, so Trent dropped me off and I went in for the refill. One of the things I love about this relatively-new hospital is that there are lots of lovely areas outdoors with benches and tables and lovely landscaping. Most of the outside walls have vast expanses of windows that look out onto these beautiful areas. Yesterday when I walked down just such a hallway that turned onto another with a view of the same area, I saw something that made both my heart and my face smile.

A Canada goose has made a nest in a planter about three feet off the ground. I have had some wonderful experiences with Canada geese and their goslings, but this was the first time I ever had the opportunity to be within about six feet of one sitting on her nest. After thinking how wonderfully cool it was that she was nesting right by the building, my second thought was frustration that I had accidentally left my camera at my friend's house. All I had with me was my not really smart, only of average intelligence, phone with a two megapixel camera. I was very unhappy about this for a moment, but decided to just enjoy the gift of seeing nature's motherhood up close.

When I was ordering Trent's refill, I learned that this was the fourth or fifth year the planter had been used for a nest. The lucky pharmacy staff has been watching nesting geese each spring for a few years now. The hospital has even placed temporary wooden fencing to give the family more privacy, fencing that will keep humans out but allow the goose and gander free access. I snapped a few pictures with my phone on the premise that even a not-so-great picture is better than none at all. The medicine was ready in record time, but at least I had experienced a few minutes of nest-watching.

As I started to leave, I realized the windows on my way out were much closer to the nest, so I spent a few minutes watching mama goose sitting on her eggs. She seemed so relaxed and calm that I could almost feel the tranquility through the window. I could see that her eggs, of which I could only glimpse a tiny bit of one, were surrounded by soft down that she and her mate had pulled from their chests to keep the eggs warm. We may think we are smart to have figured out that down provides great warmth, but the geese have known this for a heck of a lot longer time than we have. As I stood there, enthralled by this beautiful scene, mama got up, did a quarter turn, and started to move the eggs around so that they would all get an even amount of warmth. She settled back down onto her eggs and wiggled herself into what she thought was the perfect position. Then she checked to make sure the blanket of down was tucked in perfectly around her unhatched brood. It was such a simple and beautiful example of calm, good motherhood.

I felt like I had been given a special gift, and actually I had. When and where I least expected it, I had been shown a moment that was magnificent in both its simplicity and its loveliness. We may go for years surrounded by creatures that fly or crawl or slither, but we seldom get to see the most intimate moments of their lives. But sometimes, if we are lucky, and we keep our eyes and hearts open, we get glimpses of the beauty that is all around us. 

May your days be filled with beauty!