Last night I saw an owl.

I was driving home from singing practice, and we were running late, it was well past dark o’clock by the time I drove home, in fact with the nights drawing in it was almost dark when I *got* to the choir, never mind driving home again,

and it was the third time I’d been into town that day, back and for’ard, back and for’ard, and there are times when living in the countryside seems less than totally rational, less than totally sensible, what with the price of petrol and the need to drive back and forth, the rain that comes sheeting down day after day, and the mud and the puddles on the road and the need to fling yourself ditchward when folk drive too fast, not used to or not caring for the single track nature of these single track roads,

and then I saw an owl.

I was nearing the church in the hollow by the hill, and there was something on the wall of the manse.

An object I thought, an ornament maybe, but on nearing I could see it:

no still object, no mere ornament

this was an owl, still, and tawny, turning its eyes on me, turning its force towards me and I could feel the shock of electricity charge through my bones, the shock of the seeing, the jolt of the wildness, the sudden sharp moment of the seeing of the wildness of the night.

Still. Watchful. Hunting.


I drove the last few minutes silent, humbled, awestruck, electrified.

By the time I reached home the rain had moved over, stars dancing brilliant in the sky.

These few brief moments, from the wall of the manse to the door of the stars.

All woes forgotten, all petrol prices driving ditches reason ration swallowed by the star brilliance.

All thrown back into wildness of the night hunting, watchful, silent, still.

Last night I saw an owl.