...then jumped right into a new school year - hadn’t walked or considered my home place in weeks. Finally, sitting down with a glass of wine and a novel at my back deck ‘bistro’, a feathered friend reminded me - no, reprimanded me. “Have you forgotten? Have you forgotten?” Its partner (some variety of sparrow) joined in the trill that was somewhere between aria and lecture, delight and indignation…..somewhere between “nice to see you” and “where the hell have you been?” With unusual boldness, they perched practically in my face, causing me to put down my book, remove my reading glasses, get aroused from a mentally dulling week and respond audibly with “thanks, I needed that.” I see missing relatives in the actions of creatures around me because my grandmother, my father and his brothers, would recognize it as a reliable conduit for uncommon communication. I needed that kind of jolt from the minutiae of management, from packing and unpacking, laundering and bill paying, food shopping and cooking, cleaning and sorting and realigning with routine. The next morning on my way north, an ethereal image of heron-on-green-pond-in-morning-fog appeared. Had I heeded the advice of the sparrows, I would have had my camera with me and would have stopped - staff development be damned – because there can be value, and very personal liberation, in having that 'cat who ate the canary' feeling.