Arrange your meditative space for your comfort. Focus on the photograph or pick up your favorite feather and hold it in your hand. Take a deep breath and begin relaxed belly breathing.
As you wander along the shore you study the coarse sand. Tiny crystals the size of salt or sugar mingles with larger versions in beige, gray, gold, and black. They share the ground with tiny pebbles. These pebbles appear to be huge in contrast to the thousands of crystals of sand that fill in the gaps between the much larger rocks and boulders.
You walk along noticing the way the shadows darken the colors creating new patterns around your feet. You pause, bending over to scoop up a handful of sand, then stand and release it. You watch as the sand sparkles in the sunlight as it is whisked away by the breeze and the larger fragments take a more direct route to the ground.
You listen to the seagulls calling as they glide through the sky looking for their next meal of fish. As you walk you see several gray and white feathers. They are gifts of the seagulls that live and fly over the bays. In the distance you can see something darker that is ruffled by the breeze.
It is a feather, a very dark feather, a very old feather that has weathered many storms. You crouch down next to it and are amazed at the delicate designs nature has created. The barbs along the feather no longer rest side by side but like tendrils of hair have curled and twisted to hold the pattern of the wind and waves.
So many stories could be told by this crow feather. How much time has this feather spent on the sand? It could have been weeks, months, or years. You pick up the feather and twist it slowly between your thumb and fingers. Just like you this feather would have felt the warmth of the sun, the wind streaming over and around it. Just as your hands and arms can feel your warmth as you hug them into your body, the feather would have felt the warmth of the crow's body as it came to rest on a high branch or walked along the ground.
You close your eyes and imagine what the crow would see from his high lookout in the top of a tall pine. You caw to the others looking for food on the ground. The warm breeze ruffles your feathers and brings different sounds to your ears. You turn your head ever watchful and are ready to sound a warning or to call your family to return. You enjoy your role as protector. You stretch out your wings one at a time allowing the sun to warm them watching as the others return to roost so that you may take your turn on the ground. As you swoop down to take a drink of water you drop an old feather and watch it flutter to the ground. A new one will take its place.
Like the crow you allow the feather to fall from your hands and watch it slowly twirl to the ground. You feel comfortable at the end of this journey. You know that you may save the memory of this place and feel once again the warmth of the sun on dark feathers and the swaying of a tall tree. Slowly you open your eyes and peacefully return to your own place and time.