I was running a few mornings ago, contemplating what I should do about a future event. The deadline for a decision was now. Part of me wanted to go, and another part thought that if I did, I might miss a visit with my son Matt (who will  back in the lower 48 states for a very brief window of time  before heading back to Alaska). I heard some screeching birds, but it took about a minute for me to pay attention since I was so deeply into my own little mental world. When I finally did, I saw a bunch of crows circling a red-tailed hawk. The hawk was not moving, it was sitting on a branch as the crows surrounded it, flew past, dive-bombing, sort of screaming, “Look over here!”

Red-tailed hawks have always been significant birds for me. They remind me to pay attention to my inner life. I got my answer, “stay put, do nothing”. I ran out and back, and as I returned, I noticed the hawk still sitting on the branch but all of the crows were gone. I felt at peace, appreciated the guidance that was offered to me, that is always offered; sometimes through birds, sometimes the words of a friend, a book, movie, a dream… the endless ways that help that flows to me, to us all, when we listen.

Yesterday at noon I received a call from Matt and I will be seeing him in a couple of days. I was sitting in a sweet little cafe in Glens Falls and I took a moment to look up (only a symbolic gesture as I know that the Spirit of God is within, without , everywhere) and quietly say, “Thanks for the help!”

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything“. William Shakespeare

12 thoughts on “Listening”

  1. This leaves me with the old expression, ” when in doubt, don’t do it” To me it says that if your not comfortable about going ahead about something just trust that God will come through and give you insight, just like yourself with the hawk.

    I have done this myself and it seems to help.

  2. So glad you were listening that day, Mary. Enjoy your visit with your son. I really love that quote from Shakespeare.

  3. I always love a good Hawk as guide story. I first started working with Hawk when I began practicing Reiki. The presence of this fabulous bird made itself clear to me and my teachers during my training. I had never thought about totems before but couldn’t ignore the call from hawk. More often than not when I am contemplating something that requires clarity or if I am feeling the absence of grace, Hawk glides by to remind me that guidance is there. I had a Sharp shinned Mama fledge out two babies in my backyard last summer. We had a great time whistling back and forth. My nephew’s baby son was born on the day that the bird brought her family to meet me.

  4. I love this quote, Mary. Listening, observing…knowing or learning that everything and everybody has a story often filled with so many lessons learned…and it’s so wonderful to share. Thanks!

  5. Thank you Mary for the amazing Shakespearean quote…
    ….dear mentors come in all shapes, sizes, and forms….
    enjoy your son-filled weekend …such gifts…

  6. Oh this is a “keeper” of a post Mary! I would love to have a plaque inscribed with the quotation you offered from Shakespeare. And the hawk, quietly holding his own in the eye of the storm that was the circling crows. And they left, and he remained unperturbed. Wow, what lessons. I loved today’s Daily OM which I will share in link form below. The last line seems to be what this community has come to be for each other: “There is inspiration all around us in the form of other people making their way through the world, in the very same boat. Remember to look around you for role models, companionship, and encouragement.” And here we are, doing just that. It occurred to me too, that no matter where we are, scattered about, even traveling, we can meet here every day for that sustenance, for a good laugh, for a heart to many hearts! Thank you all!
    Daily OM Different Ways of Navigating

  7. I love that the red-tailed hawk is one of your “guides.” Every time I see a pink Mourning Dove, I know I’m being told of a death to come. It has always been that way for me. I saw two last Friday. Friday night a dear friend passed away very suddenly and on Tuesday my sweet Chloe left.

    Earth, her creatures, her plants and her energy all speak to us with guidance. And Spirit has made it so. Be sure to listen and observe. It’s a beautiful gift.

  8. Oh, Suzanne, your post just hit home for me — I lost a dear friend, not quite suddenly but unexpectedly nontheless, at the beginning of summer. Then my 15-yr-old Australian Shepherd passed away in July. It’s so hard to have the loss of two dear beings one right after another, isn’t it? I am so sorry for the timing of your Chloe’s passing.
    Thanks for your beautiful words about nature and the gifts that come to us when we pay attention. Stay well and cherish every deep memory and feeling that comes to you about Chloe; I truly believe those deep emotions come from the best and truest part of ourselves.

    1. Annie,

      Just re-visited this post today and saw your reply to my post. I am so sorry for your losses, as well. We can be prepared or unprepared for loss, but the sting is always there. Your words, “I truly believe those deep emotions come from the best and truest part of ourselves,” ring so true and are a valid guidepost to the best of ourselves carried within.

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment.

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