|The Bonaparte's Gull|
Friendships are made and kept over this life of mine because they are meaningful to me. Even if we've all changed over time, I still treasure those bonds we created years ago. Friends, true friends, are much harder to find. They are like extended family. People you can trust with your secrets. They don't judge you, but they'll tell you the truth. So while we may not always agree; we have respect for one another.
I am so lucky to have my other half Pat with me on this journey. Pat has been my anchor during the good times and bad. But mostly they are wonderful. So it wasn't like I was looking to develop another friend attachment. All of it was quite accidental really.
My life has changed now in a direction I least expected. If you would have told me 10 or 20 years ago that I was to become a birder, I would have laughed. Today I stand here at the edge of my own world spreading my wings because of my dear friend Kathie. There is no turning back now. Every moment and experience has led me to this point in my life. I must see the vanishing world. I must see as much as I can before I die....or before it's gone.
People ask us if we have spouses. Yes we do. They join in on the fun when we're not birding together. But that doesn't stop us from texting or facebooking our latest finds while on the road away from each other. Because of this constant communication, I found that I was developing that human bond known as friendship.
|A nesting male Elegant Trogon|
And now it's time for us to say good-bye. When she first told me the news that they were leaving for the east coast, I had a human physical reaction known as crying:( Like all friends and loved ones in life, they come and go. They are here and then they are gone....sometimes forever. She taught me the protocols for being an excellent birder. Then she became my friend. We can say that things won't change, but they do. They have to change in order for us to grow. And when she told me that they would be leaving very soon, I wasn't ready for the emotional meltdown that followed. I hate human emotions. I especially hate expressing any emotion in front of people for I am a proud Scorpio. If you have friends who are Scorpios, remember to give them shocking news by note or a text so that they can process their emotions in a quiet corner of the world away from people:) I knew she'd be moving at some point (because that has been her life). I just didn't think she'd be moving so quickly!
So when we stood one last time at the Whitewater Draw together watching the cranes call and fly around us, I couldn't think about the birds. All I thought about was how much I'd miss my friend and how I'd miss sharing those epic moments together. Change is exciting but saying good-bye is never easy. And it will take time to adapt to her absence. But for now, in the way only a birder can do, I dedicate the Green-tailed Towhee as our official friendship bird. It was the first incredibly strange bird I found with Kathie while on our first ever trek into Agua Caliente park. Every time I see this bird on my walks, I will always think of that first awe inspiring moment with Kathie.
|The Green-tailed Towhee|