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Migrating tundra swans, B.C. (Kathleen Kenna photo)

Migrating tundra swans, B.C. (Kathleen Kenna photo)

There is magnificence in every moment, if we just pause to look.

In a sodden landscape, when all the leaves are off the trees and the sky is overcast, a flash of white startles.

Tundra swans.

Their migration, from Alaska to Patagonia, is one of the most magnificent in North and South Americas.

Every year, they pause at this field on Vancouver Island — partway between my parents’ home and my brother’s home — and dazzle the neighbors.

The males can be almost five feet tall. Their wingspans stretch to as much as 66 inches.

These swans are so graceful, lifting from the wet patches of a farmer’s field wedged between two growing cities.

They’re noisy too, squawking and honking above traffic noise.

Once, we stood in awe watching a flock of hundreds, and were horrified to see bald eagles attack, and kill, then feast on one that had strayed from the group. White feathers covered the field for days.

I watch these visitors with my mother, sharing gratitude for this magnificence, this moment.