There are some moments in life that are so marvellous, you carry them with you on the tip of your memory, just so you can replay it in your mind whenever you want to feel the emotions attached to that experience again. Fortunately, I have one of those moments captured on video and can share it with you!
It was a year ago in Trás-os-Montes, in Portugal's northeast. Pedro and I were visiting our friend Paulo Belo and his lovely family, and were up before the sun to see what we could see in the way of birds. On the way to a spot that Paulo was keen on checking out, I nodded off in the car as I usually do (much to Pedro's annoyance). We stopped at the side of a lonely road, a valley stretched out in front of us. I sleepily got out of the car to join the lads, who were already scanning the area with binoculars, pointing out birds to each other.
There's a funny feeling I get when I go birdwatching, and I can only imagine how much more intense it is for Pedro and his fellow birders— it's an interesting mix of excitement, joy, and peace. I suppose it depends on if you are trying to chase down something really important, then it's crazy adrenaline— but I mostly feel peace. As I was calmly watching a bird go about its business through my lenses, a sudden shout erupted from Pedro:
Though my Portuguese is embarrassingly limited, I knew what this meant— wolf. A wolf? I followed his finger that pointed emphatically to the left, and sure enough there it was— an Iberian Wolf. Paulo jumped into action, and began to record a video of our beautiful friend. The wolf casually trotted across the valley, unimpressed by us, every now and then making eye contact before it disappeared into a bush like a ghost.
Every now and then, when I feel a bit down, I watch the yellow-eyed wolf in my head to remind me that such beautiful things exist, and when I remember that I have the video on my desktop, I play it, and I smile.
Video by Paulo Belo.