Searching For The Turkeys

Wild turkeys are by no means rare in Michigan. Yet, I do not believe I have ever seen one. That is until that fateful last week of summer.
My family didn’t believe me. They would say that it’s impossible for me to have not seen a turkey when they had seen countless on just the road trips up north. But everytime someone would yell out, “turkeys!” in the car I would turn my head just late enough to miss them. To me the turkey was about as common as the dodo bird.
It was the last week of summer and my friend Ruth and I decided to spend a day at a local park. We walked down a trail and watched the people tubing lazily down the Huron River as the only escape from the heat. It was that late August humidity that makes you think you imagined last winter. Time seemed to move slower, our legs began to feel heavier, and we were out of breath from talking about the nonsensical events of summer until our throats hurt.
We were catching our breath in between conversations when we looked ahead and saw something trott across the trail.
“I think that’s a turkey!” I said to Ruth.
“It is!” we both replied in elation
Soon another one walked across, and another. Each time we thought we saw the last one another appeared just as quick. They strolled as lazily across the trail as the people tubing down the river.
The parade finally ended, we walked closer to see where they all went. We found them right across the trail — all nine of them standing around grazing on dry brush. They were unbothered by us. The birds acted as if they had seen us everyday. We were a normal occurrence to them, and certainly nothing special.
We stood there and watched the birds for a few minutes, amazed at how beautifully strange they were. We finally decided to keep walking across a bridge and stared once again down at the river, low from drought, and people still floating by. By then Ruth and I were fatigued and both eager to see if the turkeys were still grazing coolly. Sure enough they were. They stood there seemingly stuck in time in the exact place we had left them.
That day, turkeys became real to me. I wasn’t looking for them, and they weren’t being shown to me. I found them simply by chance. I’ll always remember that day, not because of the heat, or what Ruth and I talked about but because that day I had found something I had been looking for my whole life and I found it on my own.