Sunday, September 03, 2017

hooter chapel

Some of life's best experiences are accidents.

Let me tell you a story about this owl. (Don't worry. It's a short tale. And, by the time you wake up, it will be over.)

Our church in Villa Obregon (the Costalegre Community Church) meets under a palapa -- one of those tropical inventions that provide economical shelter and can be mistaken for a Kon Tiki bar in various parts of the world. Because it does not have side walls, the people assembled beneath it are often treated to cooling breezes.

But, the lack of walls presents its own problem. Birds find the palapa to be as sheltering as do the people who paid for it. Just like a barn, it is a convenient avian resting place. And an even more convenient nesting place.

Sitting beneath resting or nesting birds is risky business. As any Mel Brooks fan knows from High Anxiety.

The board has tried several methods of discouraging bird homesteading. Most of them have simply resulted in more birds and more nests.

The owl sounded like a good idea. But the birds were not impressed. They probably decided that plastic owls eat only plastic birds.

It began its church life in the rafters of the palapa. I suspect one of our storms must have dislodged it.

Señor Búho has been resting on the ground for some time. But not today.

During the summer, our church attendance declines to a handful. When I opened the palapa this morning, I saw it. Someone had placed the owl on a table at the side of the sanctuary -- exactly where a chapel would be if our church was Roman Catholic.

There it sat like some idol from the distant past. If the Chinese were in the market of manufacturing ancient idol relics. Which they very well may be.

The resemblance to Chaac -- that beaked, big-eyed rain and thunder god of the Maya -- is owl-arming.

Of course, it is only a plastic scare-owl. Bereft of any Chaac blood -- any blood, at all. And I am happy enough to let the retired owl sit in its semblance of honor.

After all, I feel a bit akin to that old owl.

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