Friday, April 27, 2007

Ada's #26





Mrs. Terwilliger and the Animals

-For Mrs. Elizabeth Terwilliger of Mill Valley 1909-2006

Along the Butterfly Grove at Muir Beach,
the Wildlife Sanctuary in Tiburon, the
wetlands in the Muir Woods, and the
fields of Angel Island, Mrs. Terwilliger
taught us about the Sights and Sounds
of the Seasons. When a rare flower
or insect came into view on the long
walks along the wetland trails,
Mrs. Terwilliger would cry, “Something
Special.” And when I got home I’d
go in my backyard and see a red
anthill or a woodpecker on the cedar
from my seat in the tire swing and yell,
“Something Special.” And it seemed
like all the animals regarded her too,
in that way that we did, silent ache.
It seems such an ordinary thing, to
be appreciative of life, to walk along
like a natural thing, naturally. There
were garter snakes, rubber boas,
salamanders and newts, thrushes,
kinglets, warblers, and ravens and
there were tule elk, mule deers,
and sea clowns, soft bodied sea slugs,
and there were people too.
Mrs. Terwilliger would say, There
are people too, and us, small animals,
would stare with our wide eyes
glued to the white sea like the whole world
was a sleeper wave, waiting for us
to stop watching.

1 comment:

Taypee said...

Wow. I love her.