Today, the weather is perfect. There are high, puffy white clouds in the sky. The weather is crisp, the breezes warm. It’s one of those days that even though I should be doing some catch-up work, I found myself outside on a walk.
Roseville has what they call open spaces scattered throughout the city. These are open areas usually around creeks where the natural flora is allowed to flourish, untouched. I’m lucky enough to have one of these a block away from my house, and the huge grassy fields filled with live oaks act as a substitute for the nature that’s absent from so much of the city.
Often when I go for a walk, I’m out to get exercise. I spend the bulk of my day sitting in front of my computer, and simply stretching my legs is a joy. But today I found myself moseying, getting caught up in the nature around me.
My neighbors were strangely accommodating, staying inside their homes and not mowing, weed eating, or trying to talk to me. Which meant I saw a lot of wildlife, including ducks, falcons, sparrows, hummingbirds, squirrels, finches, and blackbirds (one in particular trying to entice a mate with a very amusing dance).
But the most surprising sighting was when I stepped off of the sidewalk that wraps this open space, and followed along a slightly worn trail in the grasses. Pausing in the middle of the green space to pretend that I was far from humanity, I stood still, listening to the birds. When I turn my head and looked at the base of the oak beside me, I saw a baby turkey hunched into the grasses, holding so still and so afraid. I quietly hightailed it out of there. I didn’t see its mom, and I didn’t see any siblings, but I have no doubt they were nearby.
It may sound silly, but I feel like I was given a gift. I got to see a piece of nature and life tucked away, just out of sight of the road. If I hadn’t stepped off the sidewalk, I never would’ve known it was there. And yet, having seen it, I feel mentally restored, like my spirits got a reboot.
I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there, or a life lesson, but I’m just happy to have seen a baby turkey.