Do you see the owl up to the right? I've never seen an owl in nature, no less in my own backyard. Owls were my mom's favorite animal, she had just about every owl thing you could have.  Today would have been her 76th birthday and I am struck by the visiting owl who came to me the day before.

When my childhood friend died, I was driving home from the airport after attending her funeral.  Her favorite bird, a cardinal, hovered in front of my car as it traveled 60 mph.  It hung suspended above the windshield for a time that seemed implausible and then flew away.

After my mom's passing, my sister found a hand written poem among the papers on her desk.  We've checked and believe it is her original work.  It makes sense.  In her high school yearbook this tribute was written, "Her poetic mind neglects not a soul."   

Can you see the owl amidst the branches?  She had just turned her head.  Moments later she swooped away.

The Howling Winds
by Mary Ann Ginnerty

The Howling winds of autumn
speak very loud to me.

To all who hear the bluster
the message springs forth clear.
As boughs break from the weight of the years
and the leaves rip from the branches near.

Yet, knowing in the spring, new birth shall come.
The howling winds of autumn
speak loud to me of love.

The swirling winds play host to tantalizing memories,
hopeful muses, deep despair
with intermittent rain and sunlight that
dances in the air.

Now in the autumn of my years
the howling winds of autumn speak loud
to me.

Come, listen too with me
in the howling of the autumn winds
and how they speak to thee.