I sat in the car at the parking lot of the assisted living where we just placed Dad, and was feeling very alone one wintry morning last week. With the heat on full blast and tissues in hand, I said a prayer in the car to take away some of the tears and difficult changes my family has gone through lately. After wiping my eyes, I looked up and saw her.
There she stood at the very top of a large, leafless maple tree with the morning fog and the chill of winter all around her. She was the very definition of strength and majesty, looking as if she owned the universe. But there was a fragility about her too. In her solitude, she surveyed her surroundings with confidence, but I am sure even a bird of prey has doubts. After all, she didn’t know where her next meal was coming from. I felt sorry for her that she was all alone, not fully understanding that is their nature.
I started to see a parallel between myself and the hawk. It happens to all of us as we walk through life. We find ourselves lonely at times and our lives feeling barren due to certain circumstances. For me, it was my mother’s recent passing and placing Dad in assisted living. For the majority of us, this is the ebb and flow of things, and we have good times and not so good times. If we are wise, we grow with these circumstances so we can be an example to those around us, especially our children and grandchildren.
This hawk reminded me that there are times we have to walk this journey solo in order for us to have a more meaningful understanding of life, grow strong, remain strong, and just keep looking for the good in what comes next. As I put my car in reverse, the hawk suddenly swooped down and was victorious in finding her next meal. Patience and the passage of time paid off. We just need to remember that.
© 2011 Julie Hall