I drove past them along a country road on my way back from dropping my kids off at school: a group of wild turkeys. I ascertained most were young males, as I saw many tail feathers spread, strutting around like a bunch of young football players at a high school dance. It was an overcast spring day. The clouds spread a featureless layer over the sky. The grass was young. It grew up to my chest in parts. I don’t remember it growing this tall last year. The man on the radio surmised that it must be the ash from the October wildfires that fertilized the ground, giving us way-too-tall spring weeds. The air was still, expectant, and satisfied all at the same time: like a young mother lying beside her wet infant after birth.
But, like I said, there were these turkeys. Wild turkeys that posed for me just for a moment as I painted their picture in my mind. I furiously voice-texted notes of the scene to myself, because in my current brain space, this gathering seemed odd. Standing there, among the tall weeds, their struts stilled and their feathers standing puffed, they looked, well, content. I didn’t overhear hear them discussing the high rent prices in our county, or Trump’s latest missteps. I didn’t see them applying for financial aid for their kids, or wondering if they should cut out sugar. I don’t know if those turkeys are happy. They didn’t tell me. But I’m pretty sure they are present. They don’t appear to be staring off into the distance, preoccupied with their kid’s back-talk, or the fight they just had with their wife. They just stood there with their black feathers fanning out above brown rumps – a proud head pulled up straight atop a bright red wattle and body feathers puffed out like an angry cat.
I thought of the Bible verse when Jesus was saying,
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:26-27