Only a few feet from our front porch, these turkeys explored the garden weeds as casually as a couple discussing groceries.
As unself-consciously as they arrived, they wandered off.
I’d never seen a bird that big in our yard before.
The only other time I’ve seen wild turkeys, we were on a quiet, peaceful retreat in northern California. Our quiet, peaceful friends were staying in the same building as we were.
The first day there, I awoke at 5 a.m. to a guffaw outside our windows. In my hazy state, I thought I’d heard drunks stumbling in in the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t realize our friends were such partiers!
But outside the window, our friends were nowhere to be seen. Then I saw the great, clumsy birds. In 20 minutes, the birds were gone.
So now I know where the expression “that project was a turkey” comes from.
It’s a project-gone-bad that doesn’t just fall short. It falls loud and off-key, and it makes a clashing fool of us. It wakes us up.
But it only needs to stay for a short while. It can be noticed, experienced and felt, and if it’s quiet, even welcomed.
And it’s not just you or me. Everyone has turkey moments. Even great stars and world leaders have turkey moments. They can be as jarring as a 5 a.m. alarm, or as ordinary and necessary as discussing groceries.
Then they wander off and leave us to our perfect lawns again. We wave good-bye from our front porch.