It was last August morning in a rented cabin on a South Dakota lake, and as a half-dozen family members sat talking and overlooking placid glass surfaces of water, a visitor interrupted serenely.
“It’s an eagle,” my brother-in-law said in his quiet way. He points to a majestically gliding cost creature in a soft Sunday sun. Very soon, Majesty turned to Fury, and the swooped bird, speeding toward the water, tried to grab a breakfast of fish feeding surfaces. It lost, circled high and down and lost again, and again and again, until it gave up and flew away, empty.
Although excited with the show of this messenger from the natural world, we were disappointed that the bird left
Hungry. It may seem symbolic of 2020, having started with a lot of promise and anticipation, but devolving into our nationally renowned symbols grips and comes with nothing, with so much lurking beneath the surface we can’t see, just to fly out and lose in that endless Dakota sky.
Little did we know how much of a hun ding it would be for his family and brother-in-law, Bill, who had just received big remission news from doctors about an 18-month battle against a rare cancer he’s fought so hard. And how, in the midst of an epidemic that has all the world on the edge of the unsold, life itself is never a sure thing.
It was summer week at the cabin, a family tradition that annually reacquaints my wife and siblings with memories of their youth, was at the center of…