It started back in September, while out for a glorious autumn paddle on Indian Lake. All day I’d been thinking about my grandfather, or “Papa” as we affectionately called him, who had passed away in December. A master carpenter, WWII veteran, and avid fisherman, he was and always will be my hero. As we slowly glided into a cove, I mentioned to my wife how this place made me think of Papa, and on cue we noticed a large bird soaring overhead, coming towards us. “I wish that was a bald eagle,” my wife, Amanda, remarked. As the bird crept closer, though, it became clear that this actually was a bald eagle. We both sat there dumbfounded with our mouths open as we watched this magnificent creature circle above us before continuing along. Once the shock passed, my wife turned to me and exclaimed “that was Papa coming to say hi!” It seemed very fitting, as bald eagles are prolific fishers and symbols of patriotism, just like Papa.
Fast-forward to December, as the 1 year anniversary of Papa passing draws near. We were driving home after a snowshoe and were waiting to turn into our apartment. Just as we were about to turn, we saw a large bird flying straight down Route 146, right towards us. “What is that?” my wife said. It was a bald eagle, flying down the busiest road in town, right at us. Amanda quickly did a U-turn to park across the street from where the eagle had landed. I was fortunate to get a couple shots off before the eagle took off, and will be forever thankful that “Papa” had the patience (much like on all those hot, fishless days on the River) to stay long enough for me to get some photos of him.
When it was over, we speechlessly stared at each other, trying to wrap our heads around what had just happened. I knew, without a doubt, that the bald eagle we saw was Papa. Coming to say hi. To tell us that he loves us, that he misses us. That while he might no longer be on this earth as we once knew him, he will always be here, watching over us.
- Joseph Priola
- Image Size
- 1920x1754 / 905.0KB
- Contained in galleries
- Adirondacks & Upstate NY