"Please my friend, I am weary and my destination is just across that field,” said a travel-worn ray of sunlight as he peered out of Palemale's eye and looked forlorn across the expanse of the Great Lawn.
“Won't you carry me over?" The sunlight had gently landed on Palemale's eye as he looked up to watch a flock of Canada Geese drifting across a lazy Monday evening sky speckled with bits and scratches of clouds, some white and some pink.
Palemale had been, for several trying minutes, engaged in straightening out a lone feather which had a contrary idea of where it should align itself under his neck. He felt no need to answer right away, but he slowly shut his eye and embraced the exhausted ray reassuringly.
“I shall be happy to carry you my friend for you are light and hardly a burden for me to bear.” Said Palemale at last as he held his eye shut and turned his new friend toward the Sun. The handsome hawk opened his eye just a bit and could feel the tiny ray quiver upon seeing his home seeping through the turning leaves of the big elm on which they both sat.
“It has been a long time since I last came to this place but I still do remember it. I have many tender memories of my last visit here.” said the ray to Palemale as he gazed around the lawns and pond and trees.
“So much has changed since last I was here. There is so much to do on this beautiful place, we all love it and rejoice when we know this to be our destination. I can’t wait to dance in the water of a puddle as the sparrows bathe...oh, I just can’t wait!”
“Tell me about your home my little friend for I have often wondered about that far place where my wings are unable to carry me.
“I bathe my feathers in the light of your home and your heat warms my soul.” said Palemale eager to share knowledge with the little alien.
“I often tell my joys to the Wind with some hope that he may carry my gratitude to your father and I soar over the ocean for surely his great size maybe seen by your father’s eye.
“Rest assured that you are seen from my father’s home and you do delight his eye.” said the warm ray of sunlight.
“May I ask that you now take me to my destination for another anxiously awaits my coming.”
I watched the flight as they traversed the wide field of grass...
and I noticed that Palemale took a wayward course...
as if to prolong his journey.
"You may set me down upon this brown leaf and be on your own way my friend. Maybe one day our paths may cross again or perhaps one day I may oblige you a passage should you ever be weary."
A drop of tear glistened on Palemale’s eye and gently enveloped the ray of sunlight. It dislodged itself from his eye holding onto its precious cargo and fell toward the happy leaf whose heart was lifted as she felt the warm ray nuzzle into her arms. At that very moment our own Sun twinkled, thought not very noticed, but being a star it will hardly deny itself that wonderful habit of all stars big or small to twinkle. You would too had you been the one to watch your little ray of sunlight wake such delight in the heart of a turning leaf.
Palemale looked back and saw how happy the old leaf was to see his departed friend.
He was very pleased though somewhat sad to see him go.
Though many rays of sunlight had stopped to rest on his eye,
this one somehow made a special mark on his eye and in his heart
Palemale settled into his roosting tree while the Sun was still up and I know he’ll sleep sound and have bright beautiful dreams knowing that the Sun is watching over him, a leaf and at least one sparrow bathing in a sparkling little puddle.
All images photographed on Monday October 6, 2008 in Central Park, NYC.