Sunday, February 25, 2024

We See What We Want To See

 I shield my eyes from the glare of the sun reflecting off the pond and point to the branch extending out over the water while Katie, nodding, fishes her phone out of her pocket and moves quietly toward the water’s edge. The object of our attention: a heron, perched on one leg, stands on the branch, contemplating the cold late afternoon. He is gray and stolid, his orange beak, slightly open, pointing out over the water as the wind ruffles his feathers and stirs the waters beneath him.

While we’re stalking our prey, attempting to get a good shot of it, off to our left, a man, bent and silent in a wheelchair, sits beneath an umbrella that’s been wedged in the crook of a tree to keep the sun off of him, and a woman, presumably his caretaker, has parked herself on a rock by the shore as she chats on the phone, oblivious to the scene.

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