|Watching from afar|
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Maybe it's the crazy-huge beak, or the way they fly seemingly without effort, in absolute command of the sky. Or the fact that they always look like they're smiling.
Or the fact that my late father would often talk about them as they flew over him and his friends, in perfect formation, wings barely moving, up and down their Florida beach, seemingly all day. If I was nearby, he'd point them out in the hope that I'd be able to capture them with my camera. If I wasn't, he'd tell me about it later on, a belated retelling of a majestic moment, now lost to time.
It's almost as if the birds knew they were putting on a show for the puny humans far below. And were only too happy to oblige.
So, over a decade after we lost him, the sight of a pelican brings me back to that sunny beach, to a place that made my father feel happy and fulfilled. Strange how that works, isn't it? The least I can do is try to record the scene, and hope it's enough to sustain a memory that brings me a smile, as well.
Years after pelicans became a thing for my family, I doubt this particular bird appreciates our family history, or the connected-to-my-father sentiment that resulted in me staring at him from afar.
But I was thankful to be able to take in the magnificent sight all the same.
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