From Shona

The Red Tailed Hawk

Andrea, you asked, “Is there a moment when you felt deeply connected to nature?”

I have been blessed with many moments... I will tell you one from not so long ago when I was doubting the strength of my connection to nature, or at least to one bird in particular. As you know, I connect deeply with animals (both in the natural world and in the spiritual realm) and for many years the red-tailed hawk has shown itself to me on a daily basis, it's energy and message moving with love and grace through my life. I had just finished reading "H is for Hawk" by falconer Helen Macdonald, about her experience of coming to terms with her father's death through the acquisition of a goshawk called Mabel and her struggles to tame and train her to hunt. It is a beautiful story about the hard-won trust between hawk and human.

As I finished reading the book, I actually sighed with sadness and thought to myself: "This story is so beautiful, and I will probably never have that kind of relationship with a hawk..." I think I even felt jealous of Helen. Then moments later I went downstairs and was standing at my kitchen sink looking out the window when a red tailed hawk flew right by and landed on my neighbour's fence about 20 feet directly in front of the window! Yes! (I can assure you that this is not a common occurrence, as I live on a busy residential street in downtown Bolton, Ontario). Her back was to me and as she perched she spread her wings out wide and flared her tail feathers, as if to say "Look, here I am....can you see that I am hawk? I am here for you… trust me and our connection."

I was so humbled by this, so moved, and then I laughed with delight and cried for my own self-doubt and for all the love and blessings that the earth pours upon us that we are sometimes just too blind to see.