Today I was walking home from class and happened upon the most amazing thing--an enormous egret flew down my street! I think I scared him actually, because I was talking rather animatedly to my sister on the phone, and then I saw his lithe little body take off down the street. So of course I ran after him, yelling EGRET SIGHTING GOTTA GO at my sister and alarming a whole crew of gardeners in my neighbor's lawn, and found him walking carefully through a patch of grass around the corner. Each step was slow, thoughtful, pre-meditated. Oh to think so much on my own pace--who would I be if caution defined me? This egret friend was standing outlined against the house, a lovely vision of white in an otherwise unexceptional suburban scene. If only I were an egret, the lines of my body long and sinuous--to be so light and delicate, shed this clumsy earthbound form of mine and stalk with calm precision from the sky, that would be a delight. I wonder if I ever feel as tranquil as he looks. Once I remember coming home from a trip years ago, I was 13 or 14 maybe, and a blue heron had descended into the fish pond of our house with no way out. He was hoping for a koi snack but instead fought a vicious battle against the glass. When we came in he made one last desperate attempt at escape, nearly beating himself to death. Feathers and blood were on the windows. Finally, my Dad waded in with a blanket, and right before he threw it over him to carry him outside, I got a good look at his eye. His pretty head was leaning back and he was so tired, he had resigned to his fate--whatever it was--not even wary anymore. Defeat. I hope I never feel as beat as he looked.