Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed

Sunday afternoon I was in the kitchen washing up the little pile of dishes that tend to accumulate during the day, and I happened to glance up.  There he (she?) was, straight out the window from me.  Perched in the large tree in my backyard.  I blinked.  Was I really seeing this?  It was the largest bird I had ever seen outside of a zoo.  It was literally breathtaking.  He slowly turned his head this way and that, watching for prey, unconcerned by the smaller birds that seemed to be fluttering around him, almost as though they were like me, so awed by the sight of this magnificent creature, they longed to be close to him.  I blinked again.  This is no hawk, I realize.  I'm looking straight at an eagle.  A Golden Eagle, as best as I can tell.  I hesitated:  I desperately wanted a photo, but if I moved what were the chances he would stay in place?  I finally decided I had to try it.  I ran upstairs, grabbed the camera and opened the narrow shade in the upstairs bathroom to get my shot.  That did it.  He must have caught the movement, and he spread those powerful wings and swooped down low over my house and let the air carry him across the street to the neighbor's chimney, where he took up vigil once more.  I could only get a far shot of him with his back to me.  I stood in my doorway transfixed and watched him until he saw what he was after and swooped into their backyard to capture it, and he was gone from my sight.

I pondered the amazing fact that I just happened to decide to clean up my mess at the exact time he graced my lot with his presence.   I grew up in the mountains after all and have been wandering around this planet for a few years (or more), and I have never before seen an eagle in the wild (or not-so-wild, as the case may be).  I think I've been hanging around Pow-Wows and listening to old stories being told just long enough to conclude that this was no coincidence, and I was meant to see him there.  But what is the message he was trying to bring me?   So, I looked it up on, which said, "Eagle represents a state of grace that is reached through inner work, understanding and passing the initiation tests that result from reclaiming our personal power. Eagle Medicine is the Power of the Great Spirit. It is the spirit of tenacity. It is the gift of clear vision with which one can truly see the things one sees. It is the patience to wait for the appropriate moment. It is to live in balance with heaven and earth. Eagle reminds us of our connection with the Great Spirit. It tells us that the universe is giving us the opportunity to fly above our life's worldly levels, or above the shadow of past realities. Eagle teaches us to look above in order to touch Grandfather Sun with our heart, to love the Shadow as much as the Light. Eagle asks us to grant ourselves permission to be free in order to reach the joy that our heart desires."

I really like that.

When I first got here the roller coaster ride I have been on for the last few years took a dip down.  I was alone with my thoughts and what remains of my daughter's things a lot of the time.  I was stuck in my tiny little house in a strange new environment, held in by fear of getting lost, the weather, the giant mess that needed to be unpacked and smashed somehow into this small space, and it is probably small wonder that I got slightly maudlin from time-to-time.  More than that, I think I finally had the time and the head space to process the events of the last couple of years.  I was not in the heat of the battle trying to care for my mother, work, support the household on a single salary (well, there is still that, only now it's two households - no one ever said I was a genius), and be strong for my family.  I was allowed a little room to grieve.  And I took it.  Freaked the dog out a few times, I can tell you.

Those moments were countered by surprising moments of joy.  Deer greeting me in the backyard in the morning, or wandering by at sunset.  The feel of the crisp spring air on my face as I walked Cheyenne around the block.  My lovely Philly friend's adventures with me into the city, including meeting Al Vento, Sr. (of Franco's Italian Army).  At those moments, the roller coaster would wind its way back up, and it was becoming quite the wild ride.  There were times I pondered that this must be what it feels like to be clinically depressed:  wild highs and lows that you somehow feel you have no control over.

But gradually, the track has begun to even out.  I am not quite what I would call adjusted to my surroundings yet, I am still very much the new kid in town.  I am in that odd sort of phase where I am shedding the Texan skin, but can't really call myself a Pennsylvanian.  There will be lots of days ahead of me where I feel like a stranger in a strange land, but there is a gradual lessening of my fear of the path I am on, both physically (I drove all the way to the Strip District over the weekend, I was so excited), and mentally.  It's a sense that I can maybe begin to forgive myself, and that it is okay if I do.  There is a gradual awakening, much like the slow oncoming of spring, to the idea that it is not wrong to reach for and maybe even find contentment.

I haven't found it yet.  That I think will be a longer journey yet.  I was reduced to tears last night watching a YouTube video that was supposed to be funny.  And it was; a wedding where the bridesmaids and groomsmen danced down the aisle to a Bobby Brown song.  I lost it when the bride danced her way down the aisle. I'm tearing up now actually.  They were awesome, and it devastated me.  That freedom, that unbridled youth, that love for life and for one another, that quirky individualism.  I grieve for the idea that Kelsey had that potential, and that is forever gone.  Yet, I am somehow learning that it is okay to grieve, but also to live.

I think the eagle was sent to tell me that.  I hope so anyway.


1 comment:

  1. The eagle symbolized strength, courage, farsightedness and immortality. It is considered to be the king of the air and the messenger of the highest Gods..... the sacred Eagle that carried pagan prayers from Earth to the Sky.... The eagle was regarded as a holy bird, a protective spirit, and the guardian of heaven. It was also a symbol of potency and fertility...." I like yours better. Wikipedia's cool and all, but not so great for everything.

    I've never been to a wedding and the idea of them makes me sad because I think, "what do I want my wedding to be like?" and realize whenever it is, where ever, however, it's not going to be right because I won't have a maid of honor :/

    <3 <3 <3

    PSsst you're getting totally Alldredgey on me here with this entry. I'm trying to remember who in my group got the Eagle totem