Two birds flew past me—a bald eagle and a great blue heron. They were awe inspiring, graceful, and heartbreakingly beautiful. About a mile from home, I was sitting on a rusting steel I-beam atop the concrete abutment of the lower Collinsville dam on the west side of Connecticut’s Farmington River. Long abandoned, the structure hasn’t generated a kilowatt in half a century. I perch here often and lose my thoughts in the sound of the falls and hypnotic rushing water. Winging by in such a mesmerizing moment, the birds suddenly and strangely transformed into metaphors. Within my imagination the symbolic became strangely as palpable as the flesh and feathered creatures themselves.