Thursday, August 21, 2008

REALLY, this is right outside my window!

Had this beautiful visitor yesterday afternoon on the bench 25 feet from where I sit, typing this.

After some research and consultation with other birders, I have concluded he was an immature Cooper's Hawk, drawn to the flocks of finches and sparrows at my feeder. A lot of people are mad for eagles and owls, but Hawk is the raptor for me. Always has been.

When I was barely 2, living in a pretty little clapboard house on Lake White, Ohio, my parents frequently left me in the yard in my playpen while they worked outside. One such day, a hawk decided to fly down and examine me, perching on the rail and cocking his head. I (barely) remember being delighted, but my mother always remembered being terrified and certain that the bird was "after your bright little eyes." Knowing what I do now of Hawk and his prominent place in my life, I don't believe my eyes were in jeopardy for a moment.

Over the past 50+ years, I have had many, MANY experiences with Hawk, most of them out of what most people would call "the ordinary." No matter where I go, I am greeted by Hawk. The first day I drove into this town, considering it as my next stop in life, I was greeted, DOWNTOWN, by a Hawk gliding not five feet overhead, a rat hanging from its talons. I have not seen another hawk downtown since moving here, but have been directly greeted in this house by many.

Hawk is my companion, as is Crow/Raven, as Fox was the first three decades of my life, as Hummingbird suddenly has become the last 5 years.

Magic is all around you, all the time. You have but to open your eyes and soul and SEE. The Sufi poet and theologist Rumi had it right:

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you;
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want;
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.”
- Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkh, aka Rumi 1207/17 - 1273

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