Saturday, December 01, 2007

Believing in Buzzards

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," blissful buzzard worship for the masses! Do you have a personal relationship with the Great Sacred Thunderbird? Would you like to have one? Pull up a chair! Have a doughnut. We'll pass the collection plate later.

For those of you just joining us, like Buzzardbilly, this site is known worldwide for its praise and worship of the Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura. That fancy pants Latin (kath-ARE-teez OW-rah) means "Golden Purifier."

All ten of you regular readers out there must wonder how (and perhaps why) I prostrate myself before bald-headed, carcass-rending scavengers.

Here is the "how":

I woke up this morning with a blistering sinus headache. Got up in the pitch dark and dressed. Went downstairs. It was 5:00 a.m.

Took a couple of Advils and climbed into the car. Drove to a Dunkin Donuts near Wenonah, read the newspaper, drank a cup of tea, and waited for dawn.

As the sky began to brighten, drove the rest of the way to Wenonah and parked near the water tower where the vultures congregate. And as the sun rose, the congregation rose with it, soaring all over the sky, wings touched on the undersides by the first rays of daylight.

It was an explosion of buzzards. At least 70 and probably 100 or more individuals, all swirling together in the cold morning breeze. Barely grazing the treetops, passing over so close to the ground I could see their beady little eyeballs in their bright red bald faces.

I didn't pray or sing hymns, but I did express my awe and wonder at the spectacle, chiefly by saying, "Oh man, this is great!"

Then I drove home, warmed by the close encounter with such a large number of graceful, gorgeous, useful, wonderful winged fowl.

This is "why":

It's all well and good to have faith in things unseen. I do. But there's nothing less sublime about experiencing certain visible, aural, or tactile phenomena in a religious manner.

Long ago, when I spent the summers on an Appalachian mountainside, I became fascinated by turkey vultures -- just from watching them fly. Over the years I have come to realize that the turkey vulture, a bird unknown in the British Isles, has claimed my Celtic soul as a totem animal. Any time I see a vulture, under any circumstances, it immediately arrests all negativity I'm feeling and gives me a burst of joy. Seeing over 70 in the sky at one time is tantamount to, well, to flying myself.

You godda problem widdat?

Of course you don't! If you hadda problem widdis, you'd be reading Rush Limbaugh's blog or watching Focus on the Family or re-runs of Mr. Ed or something. Or you'd be a troll, peppering my comments section with snarky remarks. And you don't do that, so come and watch the buzzards with me!

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

Note on previous post: This Dream Weaver stands aside to the superior powers of Terri in Joburg, who took my friend's dream to its deepest level of interpretation. You can read Terri's award-winning commentary in the comments section of the "Dream On" post. It must be all that nearly-summer sunshine she's getting down there in South Africa.


Kimmijo said...

In my two-year stint as a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, I never met a turkey vulture I didn't like.

Hecate said...

Goddess guard your turkey vultures! Long may they fly!

Jaspenelle Stewart said...

I found your blog looking up vultures actually! I had a dream the other night about condors, nice to meet someone else with a beautiful link to the purifiers. :-)

yellowdog granny said...

I never had that feeling for a turkey vulture..hawks now..that's another story...

jarjar_head said...

I would say eleven regular readers, actually. I check your blog nearly every day since I came across it.

BBC said...

"Do you have a personal relationship with the Great Sacred Thunderbird?"

Na, reminds me too much of a turkey.

But whatever floats your boat as long as you are peaceful and not one of those religious nut cases that help fight all these wars. Hugs.

Buzzardbilly said...

I'm sorry I'm so late to this post! (WVU's loss has kind of weighed on me.)

You know I have buzzards roosting across the street from my house. As the weather gets colder, more come more often. It's great to watch a bunch of them flying in at night in their great sweeping circles or stretching in the trees in the morning sunning their legs so they'll warm up to fly.

buddydon said...

whenever i wuz in 7th grade our science teachur tuck them amungst us that wonted to go up to see ifn we could spot one of the 13 remainin californy condors (thay wuz 22 of em when all of em wuz cawt sos they could be save n now thays upwards of 300). we figgerd we wuz a'seein sumthin that woodnt be thar much longer. even since then, i have had a speshul place in my lil hart fer em.