Music Appreciation 101

I imagine that for a juvenile Bald Eagle just learning to fly, instinct provides about 90% of the necessary knowledge and the other 10% is acquired through observation and experimentation. But for the average eagle watcher, 100% of the fun is just observing the process.

As I have stated so often, an eagle elevates flying from a method of locomotion to an art form! Within the wingbeats of an adult Bald Eagle there resides a certain rhythm, a cadence, that at times can appear almost melodic in its beauty and gracefulness.  Two eagles joyfully frolicking through the skies create a sort of silent symphony as they interact with one another. They can transition from a soothing synchronization of the ebb and flow of steady flight to a crescendo of tumbling somersaults instantly and then effortlessly transition again to a singularly strong fading note as they rise into the heavens and soar out of sight. If you have taken the time to truly witnessed an eagle in flight then you understand exactly what I am trying to express. If you have not, then the music is likely beyond the limits of your imagination. You may think that I am merely waxing poetic in my description, but let me assure you that my words fail to give it justice. It is simply thrilling.

Watching our three eaglets interact with each other and their parents as they hone their abilities is wonderful. Jim is every bit the maestro as he leads and directs their education. The young eagles so often would stutter and falter and their flight was hesitant and unsteady. The powerful drive in the thrusting downstroke of their parent’s wings was obviously missing from their own. Although at times they seem to dwarf the adults in size, there was no mastery of their art, no confidence in their abilities and therefore no grandeur in their flight. As they interacted with each other on wing they appeared to be bickering and at times almost colliding into one another. But during the last few weeks of consistent training there has been a subtle change taking place in those marvelous young wings. A balance of power and control is developing. Confidence is growing. Grace is budding. As they fly together, even their playfulness has taken on the promise of something greater. They will fly by side and one will suddenly flip onto its back and grasp at the talons of its sibling but rather than flinch and recoil, the other will respond in kind. It is rather reminiscent of two accomplished ballet dancers gliding in unison across the stage. They haven’t quite mastered their art as of yet but they have come such a long way from where they had begun. And always the parents are watching. Whether with them in the air or from a perch below, they are always watching.

At this point last year we had lost Spirit and young Pride’s movement across the sky was sadly a solo dance. This year the sky is a bit crowded and the dance troupe has many new steps yet to learn. But as I sit and watch the recital above me, I realize how magically majestic the dancers are becoming as the beautiful music swells and I pray that the silent symphony will fill the skies above Dayton for years to come and that there will always be some fortunate soul below, blessed with the privilege to hear the unhearable melody and to be captivated by the age-old ballet.

Published in: on July 15, 2012 at 6:02 am  Comments (2)  

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very nice Jim, and I pray that I am one of the Fortunate souls to hear this melody.

  2. Amen.

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