An owl woke me before my alarm this morning. I lay in bed listening to his “hoo, hoo, hoo,” imagining his ear tufts forming a permanent scowl over his yellow eyes. His hooting began lower than the trees, below my window. Then he moved to the boughs near my roof or perhaps the roof itself. “Hoo, hoo, hoo,” he continued. I found myself lulled my his song as though my pillow were his wings. When he was silent, I stiffened and strained to hear him again. I would have slipped outside if I could have caught a glimpse of his regal plumage without his swiveling head turning in my direction. His continued call convinced me of some triumph.
We found the gray furry remnants of his victory in the front corner of the yard, probably the same hare my dogs pursued the previous night. No wonder they slept through the owl’s chant. All was well in their dreamy minds with one less rascally rabbit in the world.
I chose not to study the display and acknowledged it from afar. Though natural instinct and prowess puffed up the owl’s pride, I knew I would fail to see the beauty of his accomplishment. Even so, he would remain a keynote for my day. Because even in our best, most natural moments, our accomplishments–perhaps our very acts of survival–may be misunderstood. But, it does not mean we are not heard, even appreciated, for the single note we sing.