The eagle swooped down from the top of a sparse and gangly pine, rooted at a strange angle just above the shore line. He watched as the bird banked away from his raft and headed down stream. Flapping its wings twice, the raptor effortlessly accelerated, flying no more than one foot above the murky water. Gliding along, all hunter instincts activated, it scanned for prey – an unsuspecting fish, foolish or bold enough to snap at insects floating on the surface, or a small rodent wandering the rocks along the shore-
Before he could take it all in, the eagle was farther down the river, rounding a bend and out of sight. The silence followed, broken only by the lapping of the water against the side of the dark green raft in which he floated. Some things were always beyond his ability to describe. This moment would be one of them. He felt his heart swell with a startling happiness, when a gentle rocking from the front of the boat reminded him he was not alone. His sister looked back at him, her face shining with joy.
“Did you see that?”
Her eyes sparkled, reflecting the color of the river back at him. Words felt unnecessary. From the center of his stomach, he felt something poignant warming up and out of his skin. He nodded, finally glad she had come along.