March 9, 2009

Hawk Medicine

It was late afternoon as we walked along the railroad tracks, the setting sun a dazzling gold ball before us. My daughter had volunteered to dog sit while a friend was out of town, and we were now returning to our cat filled abode.

A dark shadow passed in front of the sun, then swooped before us again before landing just a few feet away on the fence. Deep amber eyes over a hooked beak, the creamy chest feathers heaving with each breath, tawny tail and wings primly folded at it’s sides, the bird of prey calmy regarded us for long moments.

“Hawk Medicine!” My mind whirled, digging up lore and superstition, myth and magic, my own personal symbolism weaving with all the other happenings of the day, all that this omen could potentially portend. Before I could whisper a word, it launched itself off the fence in one graceful move, circled over a nearby redwood, then moved west, disappearing into the glowing orange sunset once more.

“Wow...” I breathed, eyes shining, facing my daughter, wondering if maybe, just maybe, this might be one of those random moments that she would remember forever, even years from now when I lay a-mouldering in the grave. Honor all life’s messages and all life’s messengers kept ringing in my mind. “Wow... What a sign!”

“Yep, sign of the fowl” she quipped, not missing a beat, “Sure sign we should have chicken for dinner tonight, Mom.”

Outta the mouths of babes...