Whistling Swan

This was a particularly grim chapter from Refuge. The beginning of this chapter sets up the subject matter incredibly well. Williams sets up a cold lakeside location at high tide. Williams describes the weather as cold and windy. The in-depth description of the lake reminds me of local lakes just before winter when the air is crisp and nature seems to be crumbling around you. Williams notes that this lake is not untouched by humans through the example of the empty shotgun shells. It is shocking to see how Williams treats the dead swan. While I would never touch a dead wild animal with such confidence, Williams has no problems with it. Rather than just moving the bird, Williams shows it proper respect through moving it into a more respectable position as well as covering its eyes. Washing the bird’s beak with my own saliva would definitely cross the line for how comfortable I am with nature, but Williams believes that nature deserves a certain respect that sometimes trumps the dignity of humans. I have a lot of respect for how Williams acts here. Maybe someday I will have that intimate of a connection with nature.

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