Thursday, November 12, 2009
Red Tailed Hawks
The pair of hawks, center.
The red tailed hawk is a sort of spiritual messenger for me. A red tail feather signaled a major life shift. My spirit was fading away with a broken heart. I was floundering in a great absence of hope. I had lost faith in all my dreams and did not know how to spiritually replenish myself. That feather came from the North, signaling a new strength building in my life.
There have always been Indians in my life, but none of them were "practicing Indians". There was shame and heartache associated with being Indian, so no one ever wanted to admit to it. Some people I love dearly did not even know they had Indian blood, not until late in their lives.
After that feather appeared, I met people I fondly refer to as "real Indians". It has nothing to do with blood quantum, though I did meet and come to know some full bloods, too. I had opportunity to go into lodge, to sit humbly on the good earth, in the dark, singing those old prayer songs. My spirit rose from the ashes.
When the prairie had been restored on my twenty acres of former farm land, I dared to hope a hawk might find the habitat suitable to claim for itself. Amazingly, three summers ago I noticed a pair had taken up residence upstream of my bend in the creek, but they hunted my pasture.
Since all the leaves are gone now, it is easy to see, directly in my line of sight, the distinctive silhouette of a single red tailed hawk perched between me and the sunrise every morning. It could not be more directly aligned within my sight as I look out this east window. If I pay attention, I will see the moment when its mate flies up to perch briefly next to it on the same branch. They sit within inches of one another for a short time, then both take silent wing in the faint light.