There are things on a Kansas run that one, perhaps knowing little of the state, expects. A semi-industrial crop field to the left of a flat gravel road fits within that assumed aesthetic, and so it was, as I trundled along.
A bald eagle swooping overhead, very near, near enough that I ducked, some twinge of ancient primate fear welling up within me, does not fit said aesthetic. But it was there. Flying from somewhere near the river, perhaps, then to perch on a telephone pole at the far end of the field.
This happened two weeks ago. I did not write about it then, because I wanted to craft a larger narrative around the incident, take from that one moment and extrapolate a larger visage.
But I paused then, stopping my run, thinking that I could nearly have reached up and touched the thing, or that I felt that way, at least. That it was a big goddamn bird. I wondered if it could pick me up, if it had tried. My mind then drifted to prehistoric birds, their size, then further back, to the megalithic flying reptiles.
I began to run again, hoping that, as happens so often, I would find inspiration in the miles ahead, words strewn on the dirt.
Yes and no.
Nothing profound to say. No comment on the majesty of the creature, nor any patriotic symbolism. Simply a primal sensation, and a sincere one as well.
That was a big fucking bird, and it was really cool to see one so near.
A bit like a family (if that's the right term) of mountain goats walking right around me, as my brother and I hiked up Quandary Peak, last summer. Near enough we could touch them, and they totally unfazed. Grazing. Walking on by. Unconcerned with the bipedal hominids they surrounded. Certainly not noticing how thrilled we were.
Put another way, those were really cool fucking goats. I wanted to chill with them forever, basically.
What I'm trying to say, I guess - and trying to find absurdly convoluted ways to say, for no good reason - is that animals are really cool, guys. That's all.