the kingfisher

The kingfisher has been one of my husband’s favorite birds since he was a little boy.  They are small and feisty, their call sounds like a hearty laugh and announces their flight as they dart and dive. Their colours are striking and the way they hover while fishing is quite the natural magic trick. This spring I was delighted by watching the courtship process a lovely pair near my home at a lakeshore site I visited frequently.

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To witness their fanned feathers and darting flight was a gift I will long remember. They seem to be an illustration of freedom.

In April 2014 I spent a week at Ucluelet with a good friend and shared in the hospitality of her extended family.  Each member of the family is a story of incredible spirit, artists and storytellers, I was truly blessed to share their time. While I looked for the link to a video of  Hjalmer Wenstob telling the story of his family totem which is topped with a kingfisher, I was unable to find it though that is probably a statement about my internet search skills rather than availability. I did however revisit the facebook page, UVic Totem Pole Project and was lost in the beauty of the photos and the story they tell. I encourage you to visit, as well Vancouver Island carvers brings up a wealth of incredible image.

The past weeks when I walk along the edge of the tree line where the water trickles down feeding the small stream running this hot summer  on our property, a king fisher flies overhead with his unmistakable call. I watch him glide past the garden and the tops of the cedar trees to his path returning to the lake. My heart beats a little faster as I wonder if there is a nest site in the rocks and cracks along the hillside, do I share their summer home?

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On many autumn afternoon, my friend and I would follow the path of this darting blue and white energy, cameras in hand often to pack up our gear and head to the cars only to hear the laughing call and see the swoop just over our heads. It felt like a gentle tease, ‘giving up so soon?’.  It is a long lesson I am offered repeatedly, what is meant to be yours will find you. You need not grasp, if it is meant to be, it will be. From the time since my trip to Ucluelet and probably for all time forward, a memory accompanies my every sighting of the kingfisher. One of a rich and booming voice, from the son of a Chief and the father of an artist and of a dancer, ‘Helloooooooo KingFissshhher’ greets the call of the bird.  My spirit soars, I whisper the echo, hello kingfisher and I walk away with a smile on my lips.

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