The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

In the blink of an eye!

by db Conard, The Quill

This morning I was drinking my coffee out on the point of the island when I noticed a mother and baby loon swimming about 100 feet from shore. As I watched, they both dived beneath the surface, and in just a matter of seconds the baby loon bobbed back to the surface leaving his mother under the water searching for food.

No sooner did the baby loon break the surface when out of nowhere, an eagle swooped down to carry the baby away in his talons.

Swoop, grab, fly, as easy as that, :all right in front of my eyes.

Just moments later, the mother Loon surfaced not far from where she had left her chick. She could have no idea what had happened, but as she waited, looking both above and below the surface of the water, her calls became more and more frantic. She continued to call throughout the day until her voice became hoarse.

Later in the day she was joined by her mate, and after a short while of seemingly searching the area, the pair went back to feeding in a changed world for both of them. They would not be waiting this year for their chick to learn to fly before they could head south.

I don't know what to say about the whole drama other than it was an incredible front seat on life's stage. I know what happened to the chick and can't tell it's mother who had been working so hard and long to bring her chick to flying for its first migration to Florida. Unlike humans, she needed no explanation and just went on with her life.

All of this made me think about a friend who has just experienced a similar human loss this past week.

My friend, Jim Brownell, of Gladstone just returned home from his son's funeral. Jim lost his only son, Scott, in a tragic drowning accident where it had taken some time before he could be found in the water.

He was a young man with 27 years of growing into a quality person, and beginning a unique career in the metallurgical specialty of the brokerage profession.

Scott, also, was very athletic and would have soon been a competitor in a triathlon. Everyone said he was fun to be around. He and three good friends had traveled to the country for a fun night of camping and swimming, and that evening, had gone for a swim in the farm pond.

After awhile, two of Scott's friends headed for shore, and then shortly, the third friend decided to head for their camp. Scott, however, still wanting to swim, said he would catch up with them later.

Nobody knows how or why, but Scott didn't show up, and it was later the next day before he was found and desperate hopes were gone. This healthy strong capable swimmer, that with confidence, swam at night alone, had something happen that like the young loon, came out of nowhere.

Sometimes it just takes a gulp of air at the wrong time to change the world. Scott's service was longer than the usual, with a long line of friends and family who shared their memories of a good man and friend, and the loss they felt in their world.

Perhaps the treasure for Jim, Scott's dad, will be forever memories of a son that had lived each day in such a way to have had a lasting affect on all who knew him. One blessing was that Jim and Scott had just shared a good Fathers' Day together.

As a father of three sons, I can only ache for my friend.

A young loon swimming and a hungry eagle, a young man swimming and a thief in the night-life's blessings and tragedies, only a moment apart