by Gus Hadorn
Just now as I looked out a hawk flew past and found a familiar perch on the horizonal tree. A song for me alone, on a rainy day. His dark wings matched the weather, but his underbelly held the promise of brighter days. He came for lunch as I was having mine.
When he perched and surveyed the scene, I thought the world below was on his mind. From his vantage the critters near could only move at their peril. But that wasn’t what this occasion was about. He was carrying his lunch, the flesh of one for another—raw, fresh, and well-earned, though perhaps the odds had been in his favor. Others had killed and prepared my lunch.
His came with the blood still warm, while mine had long since bled out. The smell of death, no doubt, was on his breath. My hands were clean. The other had made it so, but their kill was mine to bare. I doubt the hawk had a personal connection with his victim, but they did share the same neighborhood, and they were both where they belonged.
Perhaps a careless moment brought the end for one, but for the other, another day to live. His life depends on this work. And too, those that are quicker to see a shadow come. His tools are simple and superb, honed by evolution for this important work. Now that the contest has been decided he is at his leisure.
Clearly, preparing for lunch an animal prepared for the weather, takes a moment; but it becomes apparent, he has no further appointments. And in his leisure, he seems to savor life as dearly as lunch.
On the wing he soars with grace untroubled by events below. He knows the work that is his; and he takes to it with the determination his life requires. But in this world of our design, we savor the taste but not the task. We think well to keep that hidden. We take what we will because we can. But a voice sometimes penetrates the noise reminding us we are all connected. The wind is at our back, yet we hesitate. And the band plays on.