I am always looking for them.
I see them most often on power lines, easy to spot, as they are so much larger than other birds perched on high.
Alone. What other bird would perch with a hawk?
Some of them have so much white plumage that I think of snowy owls (which do not live in this southern clime).
In recent weeks I’ve seen a hawk in the branches of a winter-bare tree.
Regal. Breathtakingly beautiful.
Raptors, living on prey. Solitary creatures, not socialites. Steeped in symbolism.
Ultimately they are creatures of intense focus, and that is the lens I will use now.
It occurs to me, while contemplating hawks, that what we focus on feeds us.
Not our stomachs. Our spirits. Our souls.
Everything we devour isn’t good.
It also comes out that way, somewhere, somehow.
Somewhere, somehow, I think it was the hawk that inspired me to give up negativity for Lent.
I don’t need to partake of it or serve it (the whole point being repentance and not returning to it again).
I stepped away from social media quite some time ago; not gone, exactly, just…distanced. Able to hone in, occasionally, for what’s really of value.
I’ve stopped dwelling in the shadows of this school year (a work in progress). Perhaps more hours of daylight have helped with this…the hawk doesn’t waste precious time rueing the daily grind of life. It just does it. Concentrating on the task at hand. Never losing direction. Knowing when and where to move; until then, waiting and watching. With wide perspective.
Of course all the challenges don’t just disappear (as the hawk surely knows).
But in shedding unnecessary weights, the heights are easier to obtain. The mental eye is clearer, sharper.
Consider this, from Merriam-Webster:
The Latin word focus meant “hearth, fireplace.” In the scientific Latin of the 17th century, the word is used to refer to the point at which rays of light refracted by a lens converge. Because rays of sunlight when directed by a magnifying glass can produce enough heat to ignite paper, a word meaning “fireplace” is quite appropriate as a metaphor to describe their convergence point. From this sense of focus have arisen extended senses such as “center of activity.”
Directed light, channeled energy…being a conduit.
My thoughts spin homeward, to the hearth and heart of my life.
And as I drive at the end of the day, my freer spirit soars like the hawk on high, wind ruffling the embers of its breast.
Red-shouldered hawk. Photo by my friend E. Johnson
with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge
Like crows, hawks use tools
to get what they need.
Writing is a tool
for the soul.
for a better focus