Occasionally one of my photos will inspire me to write a poem. This is one of those times.

The Moment

Standing in line, shoulder to shoulder, we wait.

The sun slowly slips behind the silhouettes of the nearby mountains.

Cold seeps into our bones and the winter wind numbs our limbs.

We watch, we wait. All for the moment.

Quiet whispers and shuffling feet occasionally break our silence.

We understand their unspoken rules. Reverence is held by all.

Their perilous pilgrimage here honors us.

They give us a gift, the moment.

They dance, and sing. It is beautiful, but we know it is not done for us.

Slowly more and more take part in the act.

Time stretches; tensions rise.

We watch, we wait. Only for the moment.

Moment by moment, hundreds join the stage.

Their numbers are now in the thousands.

They build into an indistinguishable mass, a churning ocean full of energy.

Their beautiful chorus slowly increases, filling our souls.

They have entranced us with their sacred ceremony.

Our eyes are held forward, no one moves. No one dares to disturb the moment.

The tension becomes palpable and nervous energy saturates the air.

We watch, we wait. Just for this moment.

Time stops and a wave of powerful silence washes over us.

Their performance reaches its crescendo; we hold our breath.

A thunderous roar rips from the earth. Thousands of wings buffet the air around us.

They ascend to the sky, blackening the last vestiges of the sunset.

As they fly away, their fading calls echo throughout the sky.

Our trance shatters and the tension fades away.

We collectively blink and begin to breathe again,

all savoring the fleeting emotions of their precious gift, the moment.