Owls have been my favourite bird as long as I can remember. I’m not sure what the root of this affinity is. It might be that I was drawn to its association with wisdom and the goddess Athena. Or perhaps it’s because their feathers allow them to fly silently, unseen until they wish to be seen. It could be their shared resemblance with cats, who are also favourite creatures of mine, or it could be that their facial discs resemble the glasses I’ve worn pretty much constantly since I was in grade two.
The other day, we went to pay homage to an old friend of mine. I hadn’t seen him in many years, and he died some time ago, but he left an impression on me. It’s only now that I’m really starting to comprehend and appreciate the unique soul known as Fred Rogers.
When I was a very young child, I visited him every weekday. I would wait for him to come through the door, give a cheery greeting, and come down the steps to the front closet. He’d take off his jacket and pull out and put on a cardigan. Then he’d sit down and change out of his outdoor shoes for a pair of sneakers, singing all the while, asking if I would be his neighbour, or announcing that it was a such a good feeling to know we were friends.