I had an urge recently to take down the hawk feathers I’d found several summers ago. They’d been hanging over my desk (hah! My desk is an end table piled with stuff to do, notepads, books, beading supplies and sticky notes all over the place) and they got kind of dusty, I guess. When I held them, it seemed like they were smaller and I don’t know if they do shrink or if my excitement at being gifted them made them bigger to my eyes, but I wrapped a cord around the non-feathered ends and placed them above a calendar where I can see them.
A couple days after I moved the feathers, I was happy to see an adult hawk sitting on a fence along a walking path at the apartments where I live. It’s a five-foot fence, so he (or she) was very close and it was so cool. I stopped to commune for a minute or two because I knew Max would lunge and bark at the hawk when we got closer. (He even barks at clusters of little birds!) And sure enough, Max did and the hawk flew into a tall tree ahead of us. I was a bit sad because I wanted just to stand and marvel at the bird’s magnificence for a minute or two, but I sent up ‘thanks for saying hi and bye’ and we went on our way.
I usually walk around the pathways in a circle, but that day I doubled back—did I know somehow the hawk would still be in the tree? I was surprised because every time before, when they catch the air, they’re gone. I gave up a ‘Hi!’ and then the hawk flew down to sit again on the fence. The bird knew what I was feeling. He came down for me, in spite of my lunging, barking, pain-in-the-rear dog. This made me wonder about animals being guardians and I thought how awesome it must be for people who are close to nature, who feel a connection like this with all of life.
I was thinking the other night that discovering my connection to trees and birds would never have happened if we hadn’t moved to these apartments, where I am forced to go outdoors because Max has got to relieve himself. I’d been getting the message to walk for years, but my body hurts a lot and I am easily fatigued, so I didn’t. Walk, I mean. There is always a bigger picture, isn’t there?