Our feet thump loud on the wood. Several birdwatchers turn and look as we make our way along the boardwalk.
“Are you here to see the eagles?” One man asks.
“We are,” I reply.
“Come. Stand here. It’s the best viewing spot.” He steps away from the row of tripods that line the narrow walkway. I carefully move past him and stand where he tells me to, my three-year old nestled against me.
There is no railing, just water and tall reeds on either side. The breeze is strong and I shiver.
“Look up, over there.” The man is pointing. “Do you see it in the rounded pine tree? The dark spot in the middle is the nest. There’s a bald eagle sitting on the branch beside it.”
Yes, I can see it. And even more clearly through the lens of my camera. The eagle’s white head stands out stark against the deep green of the pine tree.
The words come to mind, “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles…”
This is the first pair of eagles on the north side of the lake in decades and there are young in the nest.
The eagle perched in the tree stares coolly around him, unaffected by the row of awe-filled eyes watching from the boardwalk. But we are affected deeply.
Sometimes things happen in life that make you feel weak. But bald eagles, they are strong. Almost extinct for years but now, ever so slowly, their population is growing again.
The eagles’ presence on the north shore shows that it is possible to rise again. To overcome adversity.
As we hike back to the car, another gust of cold wind blows off the lake. I zip up my jacket and tuck my hands into my pockets. I think about how, with Jesus, I can do what the eagle does. I can be strong. I can overcome.
When the wind blows hard, He’ll help me use it to soar.