Watching in Wonderment

January 3, 2023

Watching in Wonderment

By Amba Gale

From our two-chaired back dock sitting place (as comfy as a lawn),
the sunlit wakes, way across the lake, is how we see them.
They are here, now there, now gone.

My husband’s feet rest on the dock, light,
as we hunger to keep their wake within our sight.

They’re small; too small to really catch a glimpse,
our sight no match for seeing past this great distance.
We do not see them—only their wake—
in the green soft stillness of the tree-mirrored lake.
As we seek to join them in their afternoon,
we bring out the binoculars and see three loons.

Brown, small fluff floats lightly on the lake,
loonling feeding in deep water green;
only ripples, in this still water scene.

Fish shifts from loon’s beak to loonling beak,
Mother and the little one, who seek to seek
their fish for food, with no air in between.
The fish she retrieves are small and lean.

Under the water she dives again, her work is done.
And up she comes.
Breaking the surface, she feeds her young.
Beak to beak.

Male loon mate down the harbor hails.
Female, in quick response, soon emits her wail,
a second or two between the timely beats.
And, in their calls, there is no sign of fear.
(We do not hear a tremolo here.)
“Where are you?” the male calls.
“I am here,” her song sings.
She paddles with her strong unswerving feet,
answering her mate, now, beat to beat.

He knows their young one’s near.

And, as the setting sun moves toward the west,
we join the loons enjoying their feasting quest
There is no time upon great lakes.
All is Still and Now: we watch three wakes.

From our back dock,
for Beauty’s sake,
beak to beak
adorns the lake
with their strong song
and their long call.
We watch in wonder,
by it all.

Suggested Prompts:

Take a walk.

Intentionally cultivate within yourself a capacity to listen, to be with the world, through the eyes of wonder.

Allow yourself to be moved, to be enthralled, by what you see.

Write about your experience, if you choose to.

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