moment {reverb10 – day 3}


Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year.


Okay, so maybe this is cheating, but when I read this question, the moment the immediately came to mind was the one I’d already written about in a post called hawk eye, and I knew that to write about it again would just be silly, so I am reposting it here today.

If you’ve already read it, my apologies. But without a doubt, it was the moment in which I felt most alive, most in the moment, this year.
So here it is, again. Recycling is good, right?

:: ::

hawk eye

Timing is everything.

On Wednesday I went running. It was a hot day, not humid, not a cloud in the sky. Perfect. The trail was fairly empty, still lush and green and mostly covered in dappled shade. As I approached my second mile, I noticed a man on a bicycle coming towards me, still quite a distance away. At the same time, I saw a flash just in front of him, a bird’s wing as it cut across the path. At first I thought it was a robin, and then, no, too big. A crow?

Only it didn’t cut across, it turned, away from him, towards me. And in an instant. as it passed through a patch of sunlight, I saw that it was actually a hawk. My bird. And it was moving straight down the path, waist high, painting flight with broad strokes of its wings. It did not waiver, or veer, or act like it was lost. It kept on, headed right in my direction, glinting gold as it passed through patches of sunshine.

I kept running, although I was mesmerized. And it kept coming, straight for me. And then, when it was about fifteen feet away, it rose up over my head and continued on down the path. I couldn’t quite have reached out and touched it, but if my arms were five feet longer, I think I could have.

And here’s the thing: I had planned to go running much earlier that day, hours earlier, in fact. But things came up, I pushed my run back, minutes went by, then hours. And in the end, it all came down to seconds. Three seconds later, and I would have missed a sight that I will never forget.

A sight that is imprinted in my mind like the memory I have of my last dog, running towards me around the corner of our house, cantering like a horse, shiny black in tall green grass. He was happy in that moment, a big doggie smile on his face. His joy was evident. Two days later he was gone, suddenly and unexpectedly, and I have always wondered if I sensed what was to come, because I almost felt my mind snap a picture, recording that moment, him, just then, just there, in that spot. Forever.

And then there is the encounter I had with a bear while camping once, she on one side of the campfire, me on the other, the three men I was with, city boys, in the water. (Yes, I told them, as they ran for it, that bears will go in the water.) But they stayed where they were, and I stayed where we had all been just seconds before, by the fire. She looked at me, trying to focus through the smoke and the flames, wagging her big head back and forth. Our eyes met and she held my gaze for one brief second, and then turned and walked away.
I can see it still, in my mind.

And now, this giant, graceful hawk, flying straight down a path towards me. Golden wings glinting on and off through sun, then shade, and sun again. The white spotted belly that I followed as he vaulted up over my head.

I’m pretty sure he plucked a feather from my soul just at that moment, when I looked up and saw him silhouetted in the sun.

Because after that, for the rest of my run,

I flew.

{reverb10} check it out here

14 Responses to “moment {reverb10 – day 3}

  • Debi Says:

    it is good & it is perfect. and i was thinking the same thing – so many of us have already written that moment. it’s what we do. i’m so glad you reposted this. xoxo

  • Sally G. Says:

    Every time you open the moment ~ a part of you lives it all over again. You will forever be linked to the Hawk in my mind’s eye. And gentle swooping …

  • emma Says:

    Oh my goodness! I don’t know how I missed this the first time around, but I’m SOOO glad you’ve reposted it now. Seriously, the beauty of your moment brought tears to my eyes. And I may even have flown.

  • beth Says:

    i remembered that post without even reading it again….it’s that good !

  • wholly jeanne Says:

    well i (who did kinda’ the same thing) certainly don’t consider this cheating. and besides, this is one i’d read again and again and again without complaint. by the way, my owl says tell your hawk “hey”.

  • Janet Says:

    what a perfect ending and I loved how you wrote this! I have often seen critters during runs… hares, deer, but never something as majestic as what you describe.

  • Yolanda Says:

    Beautiful moment. Mmm, golden wings & the gift of a feather. I have a lot of love for my farm hawks.

  • Kelly Says:

    Just wow. I had to catch my breath at the end.

  • Amanda Says:

    What Kelly said.

    I too respond to encounters with animals this strongly. I love birds and can’t imagine what it would be like to be so close to such a majestic creature… and as a DOTING dog mom, your description of that memory really touched my heart.

    “Painted flight” – such a lovely description. And the ending of your piece is so great – “I flew.”

    Thanks for sharing this again, or I would have missed it!

  • Heather Says:

    I love this post. I was giddy to see it again. Thank you.

    I pulled my car to the side of the road today and sat eye to eye with a hawk sitting on the telephone wire. Nothing but a glimpse of the experiences you describe, but still I felt magic. So many people miss these experiences. I love knowing that you are not one of them.

  • kamana Says:

    what a powerful moment

  • Christine Says:

    such powerful writing 🙂

  • Amy Says:

    Oh my. Somehow I missed that one, so I’m glad you reposted it. How incredible! I have never been that close to a wild animal. (And I laughed so hard at the story about the bear. City girl that I am, I still know that water won’t protect me from a bear!)

  • Brooke Farmer Says:

    This is beautifully written. The hawk coming at me waist high though probably would have terrified me and caused me to stop dead in my tracks.

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