Saturday, November 7, 2020


A neighbor spotted a bald eagle cruising through our city neighborhood. It picked off a squirrel from her front yard. We’d best look out for our cats and dogs, she admonished.

It was warm and sunny outside—70 degrees—a rare gem of a day in a Minnesota fall, so it was a double loss for my cat Skippy, that I had to bring him inside. I could see too clearly the dark weight of the plunging eagle, its talons pressing into his soft flanks, then lifting him up to the sky.

F. says it’s just nature—the eagle has to eat. But it’s my nature to intervene—nestle the baby bird in a bed of cotton, run the injured bunny to the rehab clinic.

It makes me think of the coronavirus: is it some part of the natural order? Is it culling the human population, as a pack of wolves culls a herd of deer, removing its sick and old? Maybe. But where’s God? Why doesn’t He intervene, as I would, to protect us from the worst?

I’d like a miracle please. I’d like the virus to disappear. For all the people of the world to fall to their knees in stunned gratitude, rise again with a deeper humility.

I try to slough off the virulence floating in the air—the virus, and also the lies, the conspiracy rumors, the simmering violence. Hold fast to my belief in goodness.

Suddenly I see my own smallness, a fleck of skin bobbing on the ocean’s surface. To die is nothing--just a release into the gentle rocking of the waves.

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