I’m in retreat today, which means that I spend the entire day in silence. What a fabulous gift this is!
The clouds of the past weeks finally gave way to the sun, so I sat for awhile on the back patio, working on a little counted cross stitch I’m making for a gift. The birds soon accepted my presence and let their incredible music fly around the yard and forest. I’m not very good at bird recognition, but for sure I heard cardinals, chickadees, robins, a mockingbird and a hermit thrush. Glorious.
As I looked down at my sewing, I noticed the shadows of carpenter bees (yes, they’re still at it) flying around me. Little pale blue butterflies bounced past on their way to the herb garden. The last of the dogwood petals fluttered around my feet. Soon the shadow of a red-tailed hawk caught my attention, and I looked up to watch it soar in search of lunch. I wasn’t getting much sewing done, but I has having a fine time.
Then something odd appeared. A bat. Now there’s a sight you don’t see much at 1:00 on a sunny afternoon. In fact, there’s a sight you don’t really want to see on a pleasant May afternoon. Bats are definitely night creatures, and they are supposed to be safely tucked in their little beds during the day. I immediately thought “rabies”. For sure, this awful disease causes creatures to act strangely, doing things they’d never be caught dead doing otherwise. Like flying around in the daylight when you’re supposed to be sawing logs in a safe roost.
“Never be caught dead” is an unfortunate phrase, since being caught dead is most likely what will soon happen to this marvelous creature. I can’t think of one other reason why a full grown, large-ish bat would be zooming around with the sun shining through its amazing wings. My fascination overrode my apprehension, and I sat there watching it dive after insects. I often watch our little brown bats coming out after sunset, but I’ve never seen a bat in the full light of day, and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. It flew over my head several times, but I guess I wasn’t interesting enough, even to its diseased brain, to investigate further.
Good thing for me.
Finally it headed off to the woods. I’m really sorry this creature is probably very sick. Rabies can’t be much fun. But I’m oh so glad I was sitting there in silence, letting Mother Earth show me a few of her wonders, when this bat made its rare appearance.
Eat well, my friend. And may your death be quick and peaceful.