Thursday, November 15, 2012
Early this morning, at about 3am, the local pair of great horned owls woke me up. They were calling back and forth to each other in the frosty November air, the female's soprano rising above the male's baritone, each a gentle call of love.
It signaled mating season. I listened for a minute, letting the calls wash over me before racing to grab my boyfriend, Trevor, from the living room.
"You have to hear this," I told him, unable to hide my glee. He followed me, unsure of what to find, as I led him back to the dark bedroom. He started to speak, but I shushed him. "Listen."
The owls began again. Question, answer. Question, answer. Choose me, choose me; maybe, maybe.
Trevor smiled at me. "Go," he teased with a shooing motion. "Be free, owl."
I shook my head and grinned. "They're mating," I whispered.
He hugged me then got ready for bed.
Later, laying in bed with his arms around me, I reveled in the owls outside, in their conviction of love.
Great horned owls mate for life. They don’t live together year round, but come together again to share a nest for mating season. This courtship outside, the gentle voices of the owls reconnecting, is just the beginning. There will be preening, the owl form of cuddling, and nest fixing. Come February, they’ll both be taking care of chicks. But once the chicks leave the nest, the owls part, searching for separate branches to rest on.
“If reincarnation turns out to be the way things go when we die,” I whispered into the dark, more to myself, “I hope I come back as an owl.”
Trevor yawned. “I just hope I bump into you again.”