The Hawk’s gaze
I wish I could paint. This would be a beautiful painting.
You stand in the horse pasture, heavy things on your mind. You think nothing of the sky or setting sun above you, but suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see a shadow. You raise your gaze to the sky. A silent figure glides toward you; a bird. Its wings are stretched in a kingly elegance and in the fading light you believe it is a simple raven. But it isn’t. You soon realize this as it flies closer, mighty wings spread. Gold markings begin to show and feathers ruffle in the last breath of day. It turns its head and extends its talons. They gleam silver and gold. It flaps once and alights on a dark branch. The tree quivers under its weight. White feathers over its belly are mussed elegantly. Its huge yellow feet clamp onto the branch and you know. It is a hawk; a falcon; an eagle of the sky.
It shifts its weight so that it is facing you. Deep, wise, wild eyes fix with yours. Its golden beak gleams dully in the last light. You stand for a moment that might of well been an hour; or five minutes. It leans forward, eyes glinting. You sit down, not breaking the gaze. Its white and gold feathers shine. Suddenly, it opens its beak and it speaks. Its voice is rough and rumbly, like someone who knows the world’s secrets. It is wise and wild, a child of the sky and a golden piece of wind.
Your breath catches when you hear its cry. Something stirs in you so that you can almost hear what it is saying. Its words are in your heart. You reply with two simple words. You dip your head in respect. “Greetings…friend” The hawk seems to nod. Its wise eyes are almost astonished. You have spoken and it has understood.
You feel as if you could flap your arms and leap into the sky. Able to soar. Your heart becomes wild like the bird’s. It cries again, its harsh and free voice carrying over the wind. When you speak, you feel as if you have the courage and wisdom of a thousand heroes in the old tales. Two words run through your head as you try to think of what to say. Golden thoughts, wild, free, those are the words you whisper. They describe the hawk. A piece of the wind and the wild. Dangerous yet gentle. Something ancient. Golden sunsets and soaring hearts. You stand and speak clearly. “What news” The hawk gives you one last look and without answering, turns. Its eyes look to the sky and it leaps into the air. Its wings propel it forward and it glides. Its eyes are on the horizon. It soars on the sky roads, going somewhere, and you don’t know if you will see it again. As it passes behind a tree, you run to see it again. But it is gone. Only a memory, already fading, keeps it in your heart.