This month - how the magnificent white pelicans and a good friend can make our hearts soar.
photos by B.R. Hawkins
Author's note: Shortly before Katrina struck, I was walking late in the afternoon with my dog, Lhasa Boy, when we spotted some huge white pelicans. I lamented that my friend, Betty Ruth Hawkins, wasn’t there with her camera to capture this rare treat. After a time Lhasa became restless, so we continued our walk far down the beach and then turned around for home. As we walked back I saw the unmistakable silhouette of Betty Ruth with a long lens on her camera. Someone had alerted her, which is an example of what I love about our small community.
Betty Ruth was wiped out in the storm and had to move to Jackson for too long a time. When she finally returned home, she gave me a printout of a collage from the white pelican photos, which were saved. I wrote the following for her in return.
The moment ends, and we return to our walk. I lament the absence of our muse, but see her from a distance some time later – lens, Betty Ruth, and pelicans fused in one captured moment, not long before the great storm. Not long before we were all shattered for a long, long time, both communities scattered. Not long before this peaceful moment became even more precious and rare, after a wrathful sea reached into both worlds.
Lhasa Boy has long since passed, but Betty Ruth has returned, her gift the captured spirit of that day, unshattered.