After a breakfast with New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, among others, It was off to the airport, where we discovered a nerve-wracking wait to see if our 11 am flight would actually ever leave. Two things make the wait worth it. I was daydreaming, looking out at the trees-- it was a sunny warm day-- and I realized suddenly that the huge bird that had just landed on a telephone pole about 200 feet from me was a bald eagle. All winter long I've been wanting to see a snowy owl, but this was just as good; it was the first bald eagle I've ever seen that close with my own eyes. The eagle was only there for two minutes before two crows swooped down and drove it away.
About the same time I saw the eagle, I noticed Mt. Rainier in the distance. Since there was not much chance of crows casing the mountain away, I got to see it over a period of several hours, mist-shrouded, clear but distant, and suddenly sharply clear, as if it had moved closer when I wasn't looking. I suddenly remembered the poet Denise Levertov wrote several poems about the Mountain when she moved to Seattle at the end of her life.
Sometimes the mountain
Is hidden from me in veils
Of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
In veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
When I forget or refuse to go
Down to the shore or a few yards
Up the road, on a clear day,
That witnessing presence.
-- Denise Levertov, in Evening Train