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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Divine Gifts

Some readers might think the connection being made here is stretching intelligent reflection. Such can be the case for individuals whose vision excludes the link between taste and divinity. Haven’t you people heard of ambrosia?

Cassin's, Crested, Least, Parakeet, Rhinoceros, and Whiskered. These are the six species of the smallest of the alcids, marine birds which are members of the order Charadriiformes, family Alcidae. Alcids are diving birds relatively short-necked compared with other similar diving buddies. In the air they look as much like flying footballs as birds. These footballs have wings, of course, but they use them not only for flying. Very few birds swim underwater with their wings rather than their feet, but these birds do. This method of locomotion is called wing-propelled diving.

The six smallest alcids, named above, dive and thrive in the north Pacific and Arctic oceans. One species, the Rhinoceros, even winters in my own Puget Sound neighborhood. We’re talking about auklets. Average size between a robin and a crow, cute, and efficient swimmers and fish catchers. And they share a divine connection with another godly gift.

Here’s where the imagination requires stretching . . . which is as good for the brain as it is for the muscles. There is only one word in the entire English language that rhymes with auklet: chocolate. The link between them is twofold: their unique rhyming relationship and the fact that they are both gifts from God. If the god-thing is not your thing, substitute gifts from the universe, creation, cosmic blessing, whatever. My point: if it’s made with chocolate, it’s from God.

The world would be much diminished if devoid of auklets. The world would be measurably poorer if there were no chocolates. I give thanks for both. This coming Winter I hope to locate a colony of Rhinoceros Auklets to view somewhere in the Puget Sound area. In one hand will be my binoculars; in the other will be a Milky Way.

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