Deb and I pulled into the small parking lot of Nubble Light in York Maine- truly one of our favorite places on earth. The sun is blazing and the lot is full of tourists taking in all of the beauty that the earth and sea has to offer. It is very quiet and very peaceful indeed. For us it is a chance for just a moment to lose sight of the madness that is this life.
We are there not just because we love this place but rather because I have a plan. More importantly I have french fries. These aren’t just any french fries but french fries imported from a Nashua New Hampshire Wendy’s. These are cold, the grease is congealed and as few are aware they are the absolute preferred food of sea gulls.
On the occasion of so many previous visits to Nubble Light I had been ill prepared. So many times before I found myself surrounded by sea gulls begging for a handout yet all I could offer them were my apologies. Today there would be no apologies- today would be different. This time I brought all that was needed for their daily sustenance. I had cholesterol disguised as a potato product.
As I exited the car to join the groups of people enjoying the peaceful landscape Deb provided me with these parting words- “These people are going to hate you!” Harsh words indeed but I was to be undeterred!
Initially I was disappointed as the gulls were not mobile. There was a group of about forty down on rocks at the water’s edge in an apparent mid day slumber. I dare not go down to them as my propensity for clumsiness might instead result in me becoming a high fat diet for lobsters and crabs. Scanning the vista all I could see were two other gulls perched on the roof of a nearby ocean front home.
Sadness, despair and frustration envelope me as I sense that my dreams of being Sea Gull King are slipping from my grasp. Dejectedly I remove one french fry from the grease stained container and flip it into the air- prepared to walk away in defeat. As it turns out these is something in the genetic code of sea gulls that awakens them to the specific sound frequency emitted by a french fry coursing through the cold Maine air.
In an instant the two gulls on the far away house as well as the forty or so that had been dreaming of undiscovered garbage dumps sprang into the air as one. Quicker than you could say Lipitor I was the epicenter of the universe for those gulls. What ensued was a combination mob scene and aerial ballet. I was in awe as I flipped one fry at a time into the air and watched gulls swoop and dive to catch them mid air. Not wanting to ignore the more sedentary gulls on the ground I was able to simply hold a fry out and they would take them from my hand. I was so in awe of the spectacle that I took out my camera phone and tried to snap some action shots of the moment one of which I include here.
The whole scene probably lasted for five minutes or less but for me it was a beautiful five minutes. For that time all the trials and travails of life were gone. It was just me and the beauty of nature intertwined as one. For that moment all there was in my life was the bright sun, the cold air, the beautiful birds and me. For just those few minutes it was good to be the King of the Gulls!
Once my supply of French fries was depleted my moment in the sun waned as did the dining hopes of the less aggressive or acrobatic sea gulls. I turned to walk back to my car and to my surprise a great throng of tourists were lined up with their cameras pointing at me and my feathered friends. Apparently they had become public voyeurs of my moment of avian kingship. I was still aglow from the moment as I reentered my car where Deb was already seated. With a big smile upon my face I asked her what she thought about that experience to which she confessed she had not even seen because she had gotten right back in the car because it was too cold!
In retrospect I feel that for me that moment was about so much more than just french fries and Sea Gulls. It was a reminder that even in the midst of life’s difficulties we are surrounded by beauty and gifts albeit small ones. We simply need to train our eyes and alert our minds to be on the lookout for them lest they pass by unnoticed. For that moment in time my burdens were lifted away on the wings of gulls. For just that sliver of time I was able to lose sight of the madness that is this life. For that I am thankful.
Always be on the lookout for such moments less they pass by unnoticed