Bird Observer - The New England Birding Journal

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

June 2018

Vol. 46, No. 3

Musings of the Blind Birder: Connecting, Calming, Centering

Martha Steele

The start of 2018 was a challenging one for our family with respect to medical issues. I am thankful that full recoveries are expected, and I can turn my attention to the coming spring migration that, as of this writing, has already been sprinkled with early arrivals. These family crises do, however, heighten my appreciation of living in the moment and taking some stock of where I have been and where I am going.

What does all this have to do with birding? Birding is and will continue to be a big part of my life. The sheer pleasure of and fascination with birds permeates so many aspects of my life from planning daily activities to traveling around the world in pursuit of our avian friends. Although I started birding late in life, it was an extension of my bond with the natural world that centers and grounds me. It is a physical and emotional connections to birds and ecosystem diversity that help define my worldview and nourish my soul. Ascending high peaks for magnificent vistas, finding serenity in quiet woods, listening to gentle rustling of autumn leaves, staring at neatly outlined animal tracks in the snow, or standing in utter solitude letting the beautiful song of a Hermit Thrush fill me with joy, observing nature and its inhabitants provides a constant source of curiosity and wonderment.

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