SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
I was a little early for a meeting I had at one of the local Universities, and decided to kill some time and drive along the bay. All I had, was just about 20 minutes and as I drove I came upon a clearing with benches overlooking the water. I pulled over and watched three Pelicans diving into the water and coming up with fish.
I swiftly put the car in park, left the air conditioning on, while NPR played the Diane Rehms show, which I find myself listening to all too often. I always pictured her as a shaky, fragile old lady from the sound of her voice. But her enthusiasm is so strong and youthful. Just for this blog I looked her up and wow! Never thought she looked like that.
She does have a great show. Anyway…
So, I pull over and swiftly pop open the trunk and release the D7. Set it on rapid fire and tried to catch a few of those birds dive bombing the bay for fish. The water was so blue and the sun literally sparkled on it like a blanket of diamonds. It’s so hard to feel anything but awe and gratitude while watching birds fishing with a machine gun camera in your hand.
A quick glance at the time and realized I’d better high tail it (wtf….never used that phrase before) outta there, and made it back with minutes before the meeting. I sat in a room with brilliant people and imagined we were all flying pelicans fishing for something. Flying high then dive bombing for the big fish. The woman to my left was fishing for approval and the green light to proceed with something. Up she flew and down she pierced the water, coming up empty-handed.
The next woman around the table, another bird in my imaginary flock at the meeting. She was more like a long lovely egret. Cascading plume of dark gold locks and soft white eyes with dark brown dots in them. She just stood in the water looking elegant, while the others fished.
To her left, a large male Pelican, similar to myself rose and dove. He was the head of the meeting and the strongest Pelican. To his left was one of those King Fishers or Cormorants. She sat quietly and ate all the thin mint girl scout cookies that the first Pelican had brought to the table as a snack. Next around and to my right was the next large Pelican. He too flew and fell only to come up with nothing in his beak. I was the smiling Pelican to his left. Yeah, I ate a few thin mints. Took a few notes. Made a bunch of compulsive puns. Checked my email a few times. And watched the clock so I could get back to the computer to see what shots came out and what didn’t. The one above in this blog…yeah… I took that… uh huh.
As I drove home, I wondered what Pelicans think. Do they compare the size of the fish they catch? Do they try to out do each other? Do they compete for which bird is smarter, faster, prettier? Do they follow each other around looking for schools of fish?
Hey. They were hunting for schools just as I had to return to my meeting at one. That’s gotta mean something.