Wednesday, July 04, 2012

July 4 - How to be Enigmatic

For the past two days our hillside has been filled with the cries of young hawks.  They have recently been kicked out of the nest and are learning how to maneuver the thermals of our valley.  Each year when they begin screaming I get worries and think.  Oh no.  Something has happened to one of the birds.  But, I'm always wrong.  They are just vocalizing their lessons as they learn them.  There is so much story in these animals lives around us that we'll never truly understand.  I started thinking about that: about the enigmatic lives of the animals we live with that we try to unriddle but when we do, we always come up short and merely begin personifying or finding reflections of ourselves.  Today's draft plays with this idea.  I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July.  Don't be afraid to write a poem too and share it in the comments.

How to be Enigmatic

The young red tailed hawks must be learning to fly. Their piercing cries reverberate across the valley loud and without cause, as if they have just found their voices.

But their small feathered bodies take to the velvet summer air effortlessly. And we watch their bodies glide as if on ribbons.

How many seasons have we watched the hawks rear their young in the tall pine, teach them to fly the line from pine to pine above our home. How many seasons before we found this place had the birds been here?

Then there are the red faced foxes that dart, low to the ground across the field at dawn and dusk. Some days they carry a catch in their mouths. Some days they return home empty.

And the coyotes who howl in packs at night.

We still carry ourselves as if we are borrowing this place.

Even that first season when we labored for five days with the hired Allen boys laying the foundation for our home. Long swollen days of hard work and desperate thirst.

Then with the boards set, we lay on our backs on the hard wood bathing in the light of a full moon, listening to the unseen residents around us move and settle into night.

How we realized then what we now know, that what we see and hear are tiny glimpses of what lies hidden underneath.

We cry and cry like the young hawks to an audience of air trying to find our home, our center, when all we need to do is glide.

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