Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wait For It

Quick story.

Much of my trip has been pre-arranged, at least the route part of this cross-country trek of mine. Barring snow, and the closing of northwest sections of Interstate 90, I have pretty much ascertained, in advance, which towns I'd be stopping in. Nevertheless, I have left room for the unexpected, the unplanned, the uncharted, and it is when I travel with an open heart and an open mind, without my agenda, that wonders unfold. Without exception, the Universe's plan for me is always infinitely more colorful, wonderful, and magical than anything I could have thought up.


When I woke up in Elgin, Illinois on Thursday morning, I knew I wanted to find the 7:30 meeting at Advocate Sherman Hospital before getting on the road for La Crosse, Wisconsin. By the time I took my seat in the conference room of this fabulous medical facility, literally hundreds of geese, egret, and heron had set down on the hospital's 15-acre geothermal lake! I had to resist the urge to leave the meeting, run back to my car, and grab by camera. Another member reassured me that the birds would be there when the meeting ended. Not so.

By the time the meeting closed, the birds had taken flight. No more bobbing. No bird calls. The lake was still. I wanted to curse my luck, but I knew that other photo opportunities awaited, so I grabbed my camera anyway. When I left that facility four hours later, I did so with some wonderful images, albeit few of waterfowl.

So be it.

Fast forward to yesterday's unplanned visit to Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After checking in with Taylor Fox, my Airbnb host, he urged me to check out a greeting card shop downtown, and while I was down there, he suggested I visit the falls. Here's where the Universe's plan for me trumped my own: geese, hundreds of them, bobbing, squawking, all around me! Despite slippery quartz rocks (and me in flip flops), I walked out to the ledge as far as I could safely, and sat down a breathe away from these fabulous creatures. What a thrill to be close enough to almost touch their fat underbellies as they took wing right above me, and to feel their swoosh just overhead as they became airborne. I even cried out in glee, "Thank you!"

So glad I waited for it.

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