The Test Match had come to a premature end for the day as the light meters had registered the gloom sufficient to allow the umpires to ask the Pakistani batsmen if they wished to continue and risk losing their wicket or worse suffer some injury incurred by the fast moving red Duke ball. They opted to retire to the Pavilion to draw breath and prepare for a hard day on the morrow. Denied further radio commentary, we switched channels to Classic fm and wandered out onto the patio with the remains of a Gin and Tonic to settle into the comfortable fold of the garden chairs and watch the sunset over the hills of Andalusia and the town of Casabermeja in the far distance. The light had turned the hills to a shadowy range of subtle hues, as layer by layer they merged with the sky beyond, and the high once fluffy white clouds were taking on a gentle pink tinge. The sun was still bright as its rays permeated through the branches of the Norfolk Island pines casting a warm glow on us as we sat and stared up at the moon – just yesterday a shining crescent, but fuller today and giving just a hint of the half as yet unseen. From the radio came the strains of ‘The Lark Ascending’, the violin ranging over the octaves as it described from small black notes the vision of a small bird wafting upwards, circling and calling as it went higher and higher. But it was not a lark that we saw. No. There was the crowning glory of an Imperial Eagle. Not in the distance, but there above us as it gyrated in the thermals of the warm hillside. Effortlessly maintaining a pattern of loops and swoops, with barely a flap of its wings as if it was listening to the music and sharing the moment with us. Catching the last rays of the sun on its back it glowed russet brown, in silence, as it seemed to be enjoying every moment it was sharing with us. We watched as long as we could until distance and the surrounding trees obscured the view. The music on the radio came to its conclusion in the wistful high notes so descriptive of a bird vanishing from its earthbound existence to relish the freedom and abandoned joy of the heavens.
We had shared this moment – the Eagle Ascending…..

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