I’ve often heard that human beings are the only life form that moves into an area and decimates the natural resources, and I’ve never really questioned that; because there are many examples of people ruining their own natural environment only to end up having to relocate when life gets too hard in the newly barren environments they’ve created.
The Circling Hawks
By Laure Justice
I realized today that that myth, that belief that only humans ruin the environment they need to rely on to survive, is not quite correct. (The title kind of gives away what tipped me off to this tidbit of information…)
This time of year, the woods around my house is normally alive with fluttering birds in search of a mate or already-mated songbirds building tiny nests to raise their young, and lots of young squirrels and even some baby rabbits and mama bunnies normally skitter around the yard.
This year is different, though, and here’s why…
Three years ago a red-tailed hawk nested in the woods here, and as she raised her two young, they stayed with her.
The trio of hawks hunted, and hunted, and hunted, feasting on the tiny songbirds and skittering bunnies and fluff-tailed squirrels – until now – with spring in the air – the normally chirp-filled woods lies silent except for the occasional whirring sound of the wind and rare caw of an unlucky crow that passes through – shrieked in its last moments before being surrounded by three full-grown, very hungry birds of prey.
Every day, these once-majestic birds hungrily eye the neighbor’s cats or sit perched on tree branches hoping for a chance to snatch a small dog or an unlucky chicken.
Looking at the creatures – from a human perspective, as I am quite obviously an outsider in their avian world, its easy to see that they need to move on, to find a fresh hunting ground, or they will eventually starve to death.
But, they stay, and each day seem a bit more desperate in their hunts.
Why? Why do they stay?
Applying human logic, which most likely does not apply to birds, but it’s all I have at my disposal, it’s hard to fathom why these creatures stay rooted here, where the food supply is dwindling, having been decimated by their own growing hunger.
Even as I sit here surrounded by a silent shroud of trees, grounded by my human form, I watch the nearly starved hawks; envying their wings and admiring the way they drift across the sky, riding the wind.
It seems as if the world is theirs, surely these regal creatures have the ability to soar across the sky and choose a life filled with abundance and where painful gnawing hunger is not part of each day.
They could quite simply go anywhere.
But still they stay. Rooted by invisible bonds. Tethered to a land that was decimated by their own talons and hooked beaks.
Maybe they stay because this is all they know of the world.
Maybe they stay because the nearest woods already has more hawks or even some larger eagles nested there – and the world beyond the next woods is simply unimaginable and scary.
Like a Hawk
Can you see yourself in the story of these hawks?
Each of us has within us that same magnificence, that same regality, that same beating heart that can soar, even if we were not gifted at birth with wings, taking us to anywhere we choose.
But, how many of us never soar?
Each of us has the option to stay rooted, tethered, in a place that is too small for us, either physically like these hawks, or emotionally, where we end up decimating the very things we most need to survive and thrive.
But, how many of us never truly thrive?
Only you can know what keeps you tethered and what you let into your life that holds back your magnificence, and only you can choose to soar instead of depleting your own internal natural resources: your brilliance, your character, your spirit – your regal, amazing awe-inspiring you-ness.