59 59 BIRD WATCHER’S DIGEST • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER ’ 17 •
of the Berlin Wall with its armed
guards and make love, defying
the grandiose, violent enmity of
dictatorship with caring.
I realized another reason I’m
so enthralled by birds: They are
heroic. For millions of years, this
planet has challenged them with
comet crashes, earthquakes, glaciers, fire, floods, and wind, and
still they persist. And they seem
to be enjoying it.
And now, as they are confront-
ed by us, the most profound geo-
logical force since the last ice age,
they are entirely entitled to our
respect and admiration. Beneath
the walls of our construction and
the spreading sludge of our indif-
ference, they are entirely entitled
to our notice and protection. And
now, as we threaten even our-
selves, they can teach us how bet-
ter to live. They can teach us how
to be heroes. They can show us
how to care even, as Bowie sang,
“just for one day.” Maybe that will
be long enough.
Saturday morning the sun rose.
Matthew had crawled away in the
night to pummel St. Augustine,
Savannah, and Charlotte. In Cler-
mont, there was a blue sky, a few
clouds, and a fresh breeze from the
North—a sigh of relief. a
Bob Sanders, born and raised
in New Jersey, resides in Orlando,
Florida, and continues his lifelong
interest in birds, nature, and conservation. He is an independent guide
and a field trip leader/instructor for
Orange Audubon Society.
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