During my journey to go through all of my beloved Michael's boxes of books, every day is a new find. It's hard to believe that he's almost been gone for eight (8) years, but the calendar doesn't deceive.
Although I made a commitment to list all of his precious treasures under Oscar's Things on Amazon.com, it's been a long and tedious process filled with memories of Michael. The journey has also triggered deeply seated feelings of grief and sadness along with joy.
Today I pulled out a large paperback book with an abstract image of an owl. The book was The Magic of Owls by Jozefa Stuart with an introduction by Angus Cameron. Although not worth very much on the used book market at this point, obviously Michael found it to be a treasure. If not, why did he carefully tuck it away in one of his hundreds of boxes?
When I opened the book a postcard address to M Thayer fell out. It was postmarked February 8, 2002 and was a reminder from the heating and air conditioning company for the Sierra House. It was a routine maintenance reminder which came every year like clockwork. I lingered over the postcard trying to remember what he might have done once he received that post card?
As I lovingly looked at the Magic of Owls book, my memories of Michael's love of owls were triggered. I remember his excitement when he discovered what appeared to be a real owl perched in a tree outside the old Black Eye Pea restaurant in Garland, Texas.
Michael and I used to frequent the restaurant because it offered home cooking and comfy booths in which to spread out. Eventually the restaurant became Ojeda's TexMex and was still in business until after his untimely death in 2005.
Ultimately Michael figured out the owl perched in the tree outside the restaurant was a decoy or type of scare owl designed to keep other animals away from the restaurant. He seemed visibly disappointed because he loved to study any type of wild birds or animals.
Sometimes he would lay on the futon bed at our Sierra House and stick his head up against the screens scanning for owls or other birds of prey which might be gliding by at the time. Michael dearly love the Sierra House because there so many large trees fulls of birds nearby.
Listing The Magical Owl Book For Sale
While of course I would love to keep The Magic Of Owls because they trigger memories long forgotten of Michael, his love of owls and the times he searched for them, I just can't keep the book. I listed it on Amazon as a used book and am asking the Universe to find the right person to discover it's listing and obtain the book with Michael's loving energy tucked inside.
Putting all of Michael's books onto Amazon has been gut wrenching. At least I have a chance to hold each one, look for buried notes, cards or treasures and reminisce with his mother about the books I discover.
What Was Michael's Fascination With Owls?
So what was so magical about owls? For Michael I believe it was a fascination with the beauty and mystery of the owl. According to the book the owl has fascinated people of every country for centuries. Throughout the world the owl hold more folklore, myth and legend than any other bird. Some people believe the owl is the messenger of death and doom.
At other times the owl is the bringer of very good tidings and the symbol of wisdom. In China the distinctive hooting of the owl presaged the digging of a grave. In Wales the hoot of the owl prophesied a maiden's loss of her virginity.
World famous artists ranging from Michelangelo and Picasso to unknown village craftsmen have all reproduced their visions of the magnificent owl. Artistic depictions of the majestic bird are universal and as ancient as man.
No wonder Michael Thornton Thayer was enchanted by the magical owl.
Although I asked his mother, now 90, if she remembered when her son became intriqued by owls, she couldn't remember a definitive time.
I do remember him telling me that before our meeting he had lived in a barn, out in the country and had hiked through Europe. Maybe it was during one of those times he experienced an owl which shaped his love of this mysterious creature. Or maybe not.Wherever he currently is, I'm sure he is still studying them. I just hope some day when I meet him again I remember to ask him about his love of owls.