Seeing Through Blind Eyes

The following experience happened years ago. The experience made me face my intuitive, or “psychic”, abilities head on for the first time.  It also shows how subtle these abilities can be. It is easy not to notice these subtle signs. I have written the experience in the form of creative non-fiction for the sake of entertainment.

Twilight deepened the sky over the valley to violet as I walked down a favorite trail toward home. The scent of earth, grass, and seawater filled the cooling air. I stepped carefully along the rough path as my eagle eye vision dimmed in the low light.

“This is damned annoying,” I muttered, squinting. “Why does my eyesight get worse right at my birthday? You have a sick sense of humor,” I added with a quick glare heavenward. My foot caught on a fallen eucalyptus branch. I caught my balance. “Not funny!” I snapped. “Who am I talking to? This is why people think I’m crazy. Well, so what if I talk to myself? Better I talk to myself than to a bush! That would be crazy! Good grief. I do talk to bushes. I have to make an appointment with the eye doctor.”

I finally reached the wide main trail that ran along a fence bordering the city cemetery. The lights of my family’s home glowed less than a quarter of a mile ahead. I strode quickly, more concerned about running into a skunk than a mountain lion. Get attacked by a mountain lion and people are nice to you, if you aren’t killed, but get skunked and you become a lonely laughed-at island in a sea of humanity.

Suddenly a ghostly white barn owl swept silently passed toward a grove of eucalyptus trees. It vanished into the grove. Seconds later, I heard the loud crack of a branch followed by a shrill raspy cry.

“That is not a rabbit,” I thought as I made my way into the shadowy grove still warm from the heat of the day.

I spotted the barn owl’s pale shape on the ground. I focused on it by looking just to the right of the bird as I approached. The owl repeated its cry as it struggled to lift off the ground, its right wing apparently broken.

“So much for your legendary eyesight. Humiliating, isn’t it?”

I removed my windbreaker. The owl grew still as I wrapped it in the jacket. It never tried to bite me. I lifted the large bird, astonished by how light it was. I carried the owl home.

“Someone get the dog travel crate thing!” I called as I carried the bird inside. “I have to take an owl to the vet!”

“You do not,” scoffed my younger brother Michael from the living room.

“Either you get the crate or I’ll have this owl puke mouse bones on your bed.”

The owl released a piercing screech. Michael ran into the foyer, followed by my younger sister Marianne. The owl’s fierce yellow eyes glared as the bird hissed.

“Get the crate!” said Marianne as she pushed our brother out of the foyer. “What’s wrong with it, Jenny?”

“It flew into a tree and busted a wing.”

In my mind’s eye, I could see the broken bone in the wing. I thought nothing of it at the time. My right arm ached horribly. Without thinking, I kept my right hand on the bird’s head. I sensed not fear from the owl, but anger at its situation.

“You should be angry with yourself,” I said to it. “You should be able to fly through a forest at night without touching…”

I fell silent as my vision blurred dramatically. It had become a problem in low light, but the foyer’s bright light was on. I lifted my hand from the owl’s head. My vision cleared. I placed my hand back onto its head. Again, my vision blurred.

“I found the crate!” Michael carried a plastic dog crate into the foyer. He set it on the floor. “Why doesn’t the owl try to bite you?”

“I’m not annoying. Hold the crate door open.”

I set the owl gently inside the crate and then closed and latched the door.

My brother drove us to a nearby veterinarian’s office. I carried the crate into the reception area that smelled faintly of dogs and ammonia cleaner.

“Oh, is this the poor little owl?” the receptionist cooed at the hissing bird. “He’s not so little. Bring him this way.”

I carried the crate into an examination room. I opened the crate and then gingerly worked the owl out onto the metal table. It flapped its good left wing with surprising power twice before calming down. Its right wing hung uselessly.

The veterinarian entered the room. “You’re a handsome boy, aren’t you?” he said to the bird. “Where did you find him?” He began a careful exam of the wing.

“He flew into a tree in the woods near my home.”

“An owl flew into a tree?” he said doubtfully.

“He’s losing his eyesight,” I replied, hating myself as I said it.
The vet glanced at me strangely before he shined a small light into the owl’s round eyes. The bird never moved.

“Oh, boy,” he said quietly.

“Can it be cured?” I kept my gaze on the owl’s white feathered head rimmed with brown.

“No. He has lost the sight in his left eye. His right eye appears to be going the same route. A blind owl doesn’t stand a chance at survival. It wouldn’t even be able to fly.”

The owl chirped repeatedly. I swallowed hard.

“Can I have him back afterward?” I asked as tears burned my eyes. “I want to return him to his woods.”

I kept my hand on the owl’s soft head while the vet put it to sleep.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered as the wild light in the bird’s great golden eyes faded, like the flame of a candle blown out.

I buried the owl in the woods that night while moonlight chased away the shadows across the forest floor.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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