A lot of the items on my bucket list are natural wonders that might not even be termed wonders by many. Yes, I want to see the Grand Canyon before I die, and the northern lights, and a dolphin in the wild; but less spectacularly, I’d like just once to come across a lady slipper in the woods. Watching a spider spin its web on a branch above the church patio one Sunday, I was stunned by the realization that of all the hundreds of webs I’ve stopped to admire, I’d never seen one in the making. It felt almost sacrilegious to call people away to begin the service. And I wouldn’t trade the experience for a trip to the Grand Canyon.

Yesterday, lying on a blanket at a blues festival with friends we’re visiting in northwest Oregon, I was watching a raptor overhead. It must be some kind of hawk with light head feathers, because it couldn’t be what I thought it was–aren’t they very rare? And only seen in, I don’t know, Alaska? So I pointed “that hawk” out to C., who said, “Yes, but it’s not a hawk, it’s a bald eagle.” Stirring. Another simple wonder I didn’t know was on my must-see list until that moment.

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