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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Eyes To Behold

By Jackie Harrison

I loved singing. I sang at various places, but mainly at church. What I loved the most was accompanying myself on the piano and singing only for me while I meditated over the words and music. I called this my security blanket.

My respiratory condition prevents that now but I still hear the music and words in my head and they relate to everyday events.

As I ate lunch today at Crabby Joe's on the Sunglow Pier, I kept thinking - while I watched and heard the mighty roar of the ocean waves shake the pilings underneath - of the words from one of my favorite songs, I Asked The Lord.

I thought of the blind students at the college where I started the handicap program. My silent voice sang, "I didn't ask for riches. He gave me wealth untold - the moon, the stars, the sun, the sky and gave me eyes to behold."

I see a marvelous, ever-changing sunset from my 18th story balcony each evening. The sun, like a large orange ball, begins to sink into the river, sending out rays of glorious colors. When barely set, the sky becomes a kaleidoscope. I have taken a photo straight up into this kaleidoscope sky, thinking that if I paint it, no one will believe it is actually real.

JHarrison Sunset

Unnoticed when on the beach below, I see from my condo the foamy white waves gather separately and then magically stretch out their hands to grasp each other to roll in as one.

I watch the seagulls and wonder why they have pointed bills. I see them struggle to eat a fish, trying to turn the fish vertically while at the same time fighting to keep it away from the other greedy birds.

I tell my grandchildren that the seagulls hold school each day and point to the flock which always has a leader that stands apart. The birds remain in place in an organized manner until they get some kind of signal from the leader and then they fly abruptly away together.

I invited out-of-town friends recently to eat breakfast with me at Crabby Joe's. It is a simple, rustic, unassuming place over the ocean with a cheap breakfast, like the Sunrise Special, consisting of two eggs, two bacon strips and two medium-size pancakes.

The pier is filled with friendly people. If someone catches a shark at the end of the pier, everyone helps reel it in and sightseers take pictures. It is one of my favorite places.

When I eat breakfast here, I am always entertained by a few crows that drop in. One morning, while my good friend and I were eating at the pier, a crow hopped on the table in front of mine and kept picking up with its bill the small containers of cream from the basket and dropping them disgustingly on the table.

Then it flew to my table and sat there staring at me. My companion said, "That crow must really like you because it keeps looking at you." I briefly turned my head and in a flash, the crow grabbed a small covered jelly carton from the stack of jellies in the dish and darted off with it.

I told the waitress about this and she said, "Yes, they love to steal the jelly."

I asked what they did with it.

She said, "They puncture it with their beaks and eat it. They love jelly just like us."

I looked down the aisle and there it was having its jelly for breakfast.

I thought my visiting friends would enjoy as much as I do watching the crows and their antics as well as the atmosphere. They enjoyed the experience of eating directly over the ocean, the surfers, paddle-boarders, fisherman, boats, etc. but they shooed the crows away.

I didn't see the crows at lunch today. I missed them.

"They don't come for lunch." the waitresses said.

No wonder! There is no jelly at lunch time.

Perhaps it seems strange but I love to watch the drama of the crows. I sing silently to myself the song, What a Wonderful World.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


This was beautiful! I could almost smell the ocean and hear the waves and I have only seen the ocean once in my life. You made it real..... Just lovely!

I so envy your view of GORGEOUS sunsets. Aren't we lucky that we have the creativity of photography and writing to replace making music?

You are a special person who finds beauty and joy in the simple things. Good for you.

A lovely sunset can make the nights more pleasant.

One of the benefits of old-age is that we have time to appreciate our surroundings and the creatures that also live within it. So nice of you to describe and share such an experience. Wish I lived close enough to meet you for breakfast at Crabby Joes.
Michigan Grandma

What a lovely piece!! I could picture everything that you wrote about - boy would I love to share lunch with you and the crow!!

I love jelly too. ;-)

What a wonderful story!

Beautiful story..you brought it all to life..there has been a recent documentary on PBS I think called "Death of Crows" or something like that..it was so fascinating that I rewatched it recently..never knew that crows were so intelligent..they use tools in their activities to open places they want to get into, to scrounge in trees for ants and other foods products..and most surprising, to me, at least..they recognize people and places and come back to them both..life is so wonderful and we are so pompous thinking we are the walking, talking embodiment of life..nice to know we are just one of the yes walking, yes talking elements in a whole slew of wonderful..wish I could eat at that waterfront too....thanks for a lovely read...


Wonderful story and beautiful photograph....

Beautiful story & photographs. I think as we get older, we see more beauty and enjoy it more. Thanks for describing some of the beautiful things.

Part of my daily prayer is for eyes that see and ears that hear. I heard and saw this.

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