Foxglove Moments

Alan's haunting novel of the AIDS epidemic, As If Death Summoned, was released on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020, and has won the Foreword INDIES LGBT Book of the Year Award. Watch the book trailer here. Read the reviews here.


Dashing out the door yesterday morning, I was stopped in astonishment.

Up in the branches sat a magnificent owl, staring at me with an almost ethereal calm.

"Oh, wow," I whispered to him, "Don't move." I dropped my briefcase, unslung the camera from my shoulder and hurriedly removed it from its case.

This was a sign, I was sure, a sign for the day beginning. The owl was a symbol of wisdom to the ancient Greeks, a sacred bird from the other world, all seeing, all knowing...He was also a symbol of death's approach to the native Northwest coast peoples, but, if given the choice, I was feeling partial to the Greeks at the moment.

He sat up there, calmly observing me as I fumbled with the camera and kept begging him, "Don't fly away. Please don't fly away."

And he didn't. It was as if he knew that I meant him no harm, that we were brothers in spirit and that I honored his presence, that he and I were fellow creatures, both of us belonging to this hillside, equal in our right to be here, although I was the one stuck with paying the property taxes.

Or, maybe he was thinking, "This klutz can't be a threat to me. He can't fly. He can barely operate that camera--Oh, look, he's trying to take my picture with the lens cap on. How pathetic."

Anyway, I got his picture, determined he was a symbol of wisdom, and tootled off to work for the day.




[First posted: November 19, 2014]

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