Flying

29 12 2009

His silhouette flew into my peripheral vision, climbing a long, wide spiral until I could barely see him—just a black dot against a hint of cloud.  Two other hawks caught my attention the same way earlier in the day as I drove into the gentle hills of southern Michigan from the flat Indiana fields.

“So what’s up with that God?  Why all the hawks??”

He often gets my attention with His creation, especially with there’s repetition.  But weeks went by, each with another hawk or two soaring above me, catching the wind this way, then that, without explanation.

“I’m listening God.  What are you saying?”

Nothing.  So instead of looking for more hawks, I forgot about them.  For over a year.

—-

The sun covered me with delicious waves of warmth on an early winter afternoon while I waited in the passenger side of our van in the mall parking lot.  My head rested on the back of the seat giving me a total view of a perfect sky—deep blue with clouds so white they sparkled on the edges.

And there were hawks!  A pair, followed by three more, and another wound in slow circles across the clouds and into blue like a flock of tiny pendulums arcing in time to some distant music.  Time stood still.  Or at least it slowed down a bit as I inhaled slower and more deeply imagining myself soaring with them over the parking lot, a white graph partially filled with neatly parked autos.  The adjacent field, newly sheared of its corn crop—a rectangle of lush corduroy draped over the rises fell into the valleys, fringed with leafless branches.

I fly in my dreams, so I have an easy time imagining the hawks’ view.  Seeing everything at once—a road’s gradual curve almost undetectable on the ground becomes obvious at the height.  Lowlands, though difficult to discern dimensionally, defined by the darker earth spreading alongside a creek’s journey beyond the horizon, exposed in contour.

“I understand, Father.  That’s it, isn’t it?”

One of the hawks dove deeply in a divine Nod.

Perspective from a distance reveals things unnoticeable from the ground where reality bends to distortions like looking through a short camera lens.  Distance, the ability to step back is a key to perspective.

—-

To my far distant ancestors, the Celts, the hawk was the symbol for perspective.  The prudent and wise when hearing the cry of a hawk during a journey would become alert to what might lie ahead in order to face the unknown with boldness and decisiveness instead of being thrown off balance.  Flying with the sun shining through its feathers, the hawk was considered noble and able to inspire progress.

—-

Four years have gone by since God’s messages using the hawks began, and I’m just beginning to understand what He has been saying to me through them.  Appropriate since perspective is built through time!  I am more resilient than I was four years ago as I can look back and have His perspective on where I’ve been.  The road has curved, imperceptibly from the ground view, but obviously closer to His heart when seen from a distance.  The hawks continue to soar above me reminding me to step back and look at the road, then continue in His boldness and in the confidence I have learned.  And ultimately they inspire me to fly.

(For more info on choosing a one-word New Year’s Resolution go to http://www.myoneword.org/)

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