When I hear the signature chatter of this crested bird, I always stop and scan the trees to search for him. He might be shooting overhead, preparing to dive-bomb the water (because if I hear him I am inevitably by the water) or sitting on a post or limb, unmistakable with his over-sized, crested head. If I spot him, I get an rush of sudden and complete happiness. I am not sure why the sight of Kingfisher accompanies this giddy feeling.
Today I looked him up and found that he is a cousin of the Kookaburra, the Australian laughing bird. Native Americans believed Kingfisher to be a good omen — a sign of new warmth, sunshine, prosperity and love. Who wouldn’t welcome all these things? Supposedly, people with a Kingfisher totem should live as close as possible to water, and as far north as possible. That certainly applies to me.
But I think the reason that the chortle is so infectious is because of where I am when I hear it. I am hiking, or riding my horse, or out in the canoe, or someplace where the Kingfisher frequents. It is a call to the primal side, the voice saying, “Look! Over here!” and there he is. It is an audible signature of being in nature, of living in the moment.
I haven’t seen him lately, but I have him on the brain. Here he is, materializing from my mind’s eye, in acrylic, 11×15″. Thinking of him makes me happy, so he is already bringing good things.
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