They nest in the spruce trees above my house. I see them sometimes, when I come out for water or to chop wood. They’re as silent as ghosts, gray and still, watching me with huge eyes. They fly away if I stay out too long, but I don’t blame them.

I never liked company either.

Owls are solitary birds. I read that in a book somewhere. I don’t remember where. I’ve been a lot of places in my life. Most of them I didn’t like, but I like it here. I like my one room cabin, my table and chairs, my wood stove, the creek where I draw water. I like the canyons and trees around me, the mountain peaks, the fresh air. The road I can see for miles along. I always know when someone is coming. I’m always careful to watch. Just like the owls.

And I always have a place to run, just like the owls.

I like them too. And I understand them. They like their privacy, their own place. Their soft calls echo among the trees at night, and I’ll watch them go off hunting sometimes. They’re so quiet. As if they don’t want anyone to hear them, anyone to know where they are.

I understand that. These woods are perfect for hiding away, for being alone. That’s why I came here in the first place.

I’ve sometimes wondered who the owls were running from. When they came.

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