Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hunting Over Fallow Fields

The hawk has haunted me the last few weeks.

Part of me knows that, with his habitat shrinking in ten and twenty-acre increments, he has every reason to sit on the edge of our preserve and claim his territory.

Part of me reflects on the symbolism of the hawk, seeing the need for clear vision, intensity, and ferocious drive in my life.

And just as I relegate the hawk’s metaphorical message to superstition, he stoops across my windshield as I leave the neighborhood. And the next night, as I wait at a red light, a beautiful, enormous owl flights straight across the intersection in clear sight beneath the stoplights. The owl underlines the hawk’s message with his own symbolism of night vision, meditation, and clarity.

I feel this past year has been a year for my mind, creative drive, and pen (keyboard) to lie fallow. My creative soil felt thin, dry, and exhausted. These days, even wildly popular authors feel pressured to pile one success on top of another, so it’s hard to value time spent…waiting. Especially when I’m not recovering from a successful harvest.

Or am I?

If I’ve made any resolution for this year, it’s to question society’s definitions of everything. What do I consider time well spent? What do I consider a worthy goal achieved? What crop do I want to harvest?

Right now, I have a contentment that I imagine resembles that of my mid-Atlantic farming ancestors’ in January. Our home feels warm and cozy, filled with laughter, music, and growth. We have been blessed with food for our table and a roof over our heads. We continue to clear our spaces of the material goods that weigh us down, keeping what brings us joy. I feel our children, growing like any healthy young creatures, need less constant tending. Contentment.

Why does the hawk’s lone, plaintive, fierce cry haunt my peace?

Perhaps because I, like him, cannot wait for the spring with its new, tender crops and frisking, careless targets. My prey, less substantial than his, feels no less primal to me. I yearn to soar seeking clarity and stoop for the words that latch onto others. I want to tear open what we seem to struggle with and show everyone that the answers lie inside the problems.

Glennon Doyle Melton calls our world brutiful. And it is. It is brutal and beautiful, both at once and both entirely.

The hawk knows.

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