In late Spring of 2004 I was at a hot spring about 20 miles south of Tonopah, Nevada. I had just pulled up to an interesting place suggested to me for camping... It was dusk and I had just pulled up in my cab-over camper to the parking area and next to a rectangular steaming pool about he size of a small hotel swimming pool.
As I began to walk around the area, I noticed and then began watching a small totally black sparrow/wren/finch type bird about 4 inches in length with fluffed up body feathers. It flew to various perches in a tall row of bushes, looking directly at me about 20 feet away at my left. Then it flew around me and down to the ground to my right. At that point, I started to speak softly to the bird. "What's going on? You seem to be trying to get my attention" "Do you want me to see something in the area near you". At my second step in that direction, he flew around and behind me to a low branch in a tree next to my camper. There he continued to look directly at me after I turned to watch him. I began speaking to him again: What do you want? You seem to be communicating something to me. What is it?
After about a minute and more questions, he flew down and landed on the ground directly under the step of the back door of the camper. "Ah", I said, "You are really seeming friendly. "Are you hungry... may I approach"? I walked up to within two feet him and stopped. He still stood still watching me. "OK, pal", I said, "if this is for real, you'll let me pet your head." I bent over and gently stroked across his head three or four times as if to smooth the feathers. His eyes were fixed on mine. Still bending, my mind a blank but my heart warm, pleased, blessed, comfortable and in awe, I put my hands on my thighs and just looked at him. After some moments he flew off to the original bush now about 40 feet behind me. He looked about and then flew off to land on another bush down the line. After a moment, he flew out of sight.
As I pondered this incredibly "spiritual happening" for some minutes as dusk was now almost darkness. I noticed a strange moving light about 100 feet away approaching from my right along a small watercourse of the outflow from the pool. It was clear after a bit that a woman with a small flashlight was inspecting the watercourse. I moved to the outflow point at the corner of the pool. As she approached, I said, "What's happening?" in as friendly tone as I could muster, given that my mind was still twirling. "Checking the crawdads", she said. "The pond has many. I feel many around my feet when I swim in the pool. I always worry about them and enjoy watching the larger ones as they leave the pool and move down to another pool just below here but out of sight". We chatted for a while and I told her of my encounter with the friendly bird. She seemed only mildly awed compared to my animated telling of the story.
I mentioned her to some friends of mine in Tonopah the next day. They said they knew her and that she did housecleaning for folks in Tonopah. I recounted the story to these "born again" Christians. Each replied with a short and implausible comment/explanation that I now cannot recall.
I'm very curious as to some deeper meaning of this strange occurrence. I don't use any drugs or drink alcohol. I am a seeker and on a spiritual path guided by insight meditation and the teachings of the Buddha. I am hopeful that others have had similar experiences and could help me understand. Please send your comments to Larry Gilzdorf (gilzdorf [at] gmail [dot] com) or leave a message.