We had a new visitor on the Inlet this summer–a bald eagle, who, mornings, sat on a dead tree branch just across the water from the Cascadilla Boat Club boathouse. He made a majestic sentry as we headed out for a row. One morning, though, I noticed that he wasn’t there. I found him afterward, as I drove home after rowing. He was standing on the grass beside the road on a busy intersection outside Stewart Park, warily guarding a fish that he had caught. It looked like he was challenging all comers to dare to take it from home.
Remembering, of course, that the bald eagle is the representative of our country, I couldn’t help but wonder about the symbolism. Was the arrival of the new visitor a hopeful sign for America’s future? Does his truculent defense of his prey mean that Americans are ready to start rebuilding our economy? Or is he a symbol of anachronism–about as useful beside the cars whizzing by as a carrier pigeon beside the Internet?