Having woken up to the news of an utterly innocent and well-loved man in Minnesota shot dead by the cops as he reached for his driver’s license, bookended by the snipers in Dallas tonight shooting eleven cops, killing four (update: five), who were there to make sure a protest rally stayed peaceful…
Both feel like the Kent State days of my childhood. We have GOT to stop doing this, thinking like this, acting on this. I want the Peace sign to make a huge comeback in our society: offer love to one another, not warring.
On a different note.
It was almost exactly a year ago, and I remember because it was right after the Fourth of July but while most of the traffic around my husband’s office was very low because people were on vacation, when I came around a blind curve in a steep hill and saw it.
There had been a pair of red-tailed hawks soaring above the nearby buildings for as long as anyone could remember, kiting on the thermals.
One of them had been hit by a car just at the end of that blind curve where neither could have seen the other coming. It was on the shoulder, an enormous wing angled upright, being blown softly by the wind.
A day or two later, I saw a bicyclist stop and pick up its body carefully, as if to honor this huge beautiful bird for having graced our lives, and he moved it to a small depression in the hillside where a tiny stream of water sometimes runs in winter, as if in burial. Away from the hard road and back to the nature it belonged to.
I mourned, too, for the hawk that had lost its mate. I saw it from time to time, alone now, as I waited to pick Richard up in the evenings.
Yesterday morning at 8:30 I had just turned up that hill a little farther down when I saw it: those wings, that size, the brilliant white against the new light of the day. A bit of gray in its tail and shoulders and its feet tucked in. It was rising, soaring on the wind.
Rushing home to my Sibley’s guide, it was a light morph of either a ferruginous hawk.
Or of a red-tailed. So there was a hawk nest up there this year after all.
Flying free, last year’s pain a distant memory of its elders.
May we learn from the hawks.
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