Happy Mother’s Day! Find your magic.
I thought I was going to the springs. The manatees are usually lolling about in large numbers in January and I love to capture their grace on film. But it was foggy, and I love fog, so I set out on foot through my neighborhood instead.
There’s an area of green space on my way to the duck pond that the deer sometimes frequent. It was too late for that, but the fog that hovered over the tiny creek that bends around a stand of palms looked mystical and poetic. I could imagine whole stories springing from that one little scene.
As I approached the duck pond it was close to deserted. A pair of mallards and a single snowy egret had it all to themselves. Over time a few more ducks, a loon and a red-billed black bird with the most enormous yellow feet showed up.
Pretty standard fare made a little more magical with the fog. I snapped a couple of photos then began to meander back.
“It would be so great to see a hawk” I thought. Just then, seriously, just then, I notice something swoop from one tree to another. It’s a hawk.
Hawks and I have a thing. They show up when I ask them to and even when I don’t. At times the appear because I need them to, but didn’t know I did. They will pose for me as long as I don’t impede their mealtime efforts.
Today I was gifted two. I think they were mother and child because they perched briefly together on the same branch and seldom do birds of prey do that unless there is a lesson in progress.
As I slowly tiptoed around underneath them to get the sun at my back, the mom flew a short distance away. She chose the top of the tennis court fence. The hawklet remained on the branch to pose for me.
The mother began to squawk, shortly after I watched the little one perk up and begin to respond. No one moved, including me, although I kept shooting away. There’s nothing quite so powerful as the call of a bird right in front of you.
Once they finished their conversation I attempted to get closer to mom. I was able to capture her in mid-sentence once or twice before the pair of mallards let out a huge quack right behind me sending mom away.
I turned my attention back to the hawks in time to see mom just clear the top of the branch where her young one had stayed perched, as if to say, “Come on, let’s go.” Together they flew off to continue the lesson with less human involvement.
As I walked home I could hear them across the street, hidden skillfully in a large stand of trees. I smiled in their direction, thanking them for sharing their time with me and delivering the message my soul was longing to hear.
According to Native American medicine, hawk is the Messenger. It is the big picture seer. I have always been a big picture person, preferring to work backwards from the grand vision to fill in the details. When I am feeling churlish or agitated it is usually because I have lived too long with the minutia. I am mired in bits and pieces that often seem unrelated and messy. Hawk is a reminder to let the details go for a while and look up. The sky is the ultimate big picture, open and full of possibilities. And every now then I get lucky and a hawk soars through it.
Challenge Day 4. Today I thought I was going to let myself down. My plan was to be up at 5 as usual, do some Yoga Nidra to ease into the day, write, go to an 8 am yoga class, followed by 30 minutes at the gym (did this Tuesday and it felt great), lunch with a friend, a couple of hours in the afternoon wherein I would fit work, photography, writing and ANOTHER Yoga Nidra. Then dinner, writing and hanging out in the family room of the Enchanted Living Facebook Group Page. To bed with positive vibes and a smile in my heart.
Here’s what actually happened.
The muse roused me at 3 AM. On the dot. Really? Come on. She begins dropping words into my brain and they form these delicious sentences. The words get louder and louder and impossible to ignore. They take on an importance that I fear I will lose if I fall back to sleep. So I slog to the living room crack my laptop open just enough to slide my fingers into position, because opening it all the way would sear my retinas at this ridiculous hour, and hammer out a few sentences. Satisfied I have appeased the muse I press the screen back onto the keyboard and sit back. Now what?
My body was ready to go back to bed. Lobotomized of thoughts my mind now roamed the dimly lit halls unable to conjure a direction. I asked it to sleep, it refused. So at 4 AM I did Yoga Nidra. I was able drift away to a nice sweet space and let go a little. The soothing voice on my ipod relaxed the synapses in my brain enough to allow me to wander back to bed where I eventually found sleep. And sleep I did, until 8! The day was half over!
The mind being what it is – a naughty, unruly child – already had me reclining on the back porch drinking wine, eating Ruffles and reading a trashy novel by noon. I failed to meet my schedule.
But with all this “inner work” that tiny little ember of the Self has grown stronger. So while my mind carried on with its slithery speak of, “why change? You’re good. Take a day off from that nonsense, you deserve it,” my Super Self was quietly reorganizing my day.
Write now. Work now. Go to lunch. Work a little more. Do some Yoga Nidra. Take the 5 pm yoga class. Search all day long for light and shadow, movement and stillness and have the camera ready. Go to the gym tomorrow after the 9:30 yoga class. You’ve got this. Don’t let the mind on the corner entice you with free samples of artificial freedom, you know the difference. Thank the sandman for much needed rest, put on your big girl panties and start your day.
And that’s pretty much how it went.
The morning shifted a little when I got a call that “those white birds” were back at the nearby pond. Yesterday they were flying back and forth and I was hoping to capture one in flight. No luck. I wanted to try again today. Instead of driving the mile or so up the road, I took to the sidewalk. The weather was perfect. I’d get my walk in and take a few pictures. This way I could kill two birds with one stone or if you prefer, shoot 20 birds with one Canon.
When I arrived at the pond I only saw a few birds. I was a little disappointed at first, but as I edged my way around the perimeter, popping acorns announcing each step I took, I noticed a little movement out of the corner of my eye. When I looked up I found a tree filled with angels. Then another tree. They had moved up. As I watched, some of them took off and flew away. I was still unsuccessful in capturing them clearly in flight. But tomorrow is another day and maybe I’ll get another call.
I got it all in pretty easily once I sat that dramatic ego in time out and let the Super Self work it out. I retire this evening with hopes of a good night’s sleep and look forward to whatever magic awaits tomorrow.