|Kathlyn Heidel, 1938-2014|
"Hi! What are we doin' today, Kathy?"
"Oh, you'll see."She meant it. I would see - really see, my eyes be made to open even wider. Once she taught me that the retina was thicker on the peripheral, so if I could exercise that part of my eye to spot birds and critters, I'd see them more readily and clearly. But before anything magical like this could happen, I knew I had to hold my nose and do the chores.
"Should I go feed-"
"Yes, do that first. Then we'll go for a walk."
|The "Wetlands", Carver Park Reserve|
|Certificate for "Developing Sensory Awareness" Course|
|"Kathy's Prairie", Dedication 2014|
|Wild Lupine in the Prairie, 2014|
It had been slow, hot, bee-stinging work, but here I stood - almost 25 years later - at the commemoration of "Kathy's Prairie." There were a few words spoken in her remembrance, but soon the crowd was squatting in the grass, comparing diverse leaves, exchanging excited finds. "Did you see this orchid? There's a new book about that!" "Did you guys know there's wild lupine over there?" I stepped back for a moment with a sigh - somewhat sad, fully joyful. At her memorial, here was Kathy's legacy. A whole community touched by her lessons, among them: humility in work, delight in the outdoors, meticulous observation and recording, and the importance of securing a future for the natural world. And in all of these things, how to hold a bird.