Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Hawk's View of the World

In the interest of general overall health, and not going out and buying clothes one size bigger (depressing AND expensive), I've been back to walking recently. I'm in the middle of my fourth week of four hours of walking (or other) in a row. Things are (sort of) fitting better, but I certainly feel better, am sleeping better with all this fresh air, etc.

I love going out in weather that drives others inside. Especially rain, snow, wind and cold. Heat, not so much. Which of course explains why I lived in Arizona for 8 years. Not too mention the current St. Louis stay. But I digress. Last Monday I went out for my afternoon walk. Should have checked the wind chill, but I only checked the temp. Silly me. Every five minutes I kept asking myself if I wanted to continue.

When I got to the Des Peres/Lindell intersection (which dead ends into Forest Park( I saw something brown and big and birdlike on the ground. At first I thought it was the wild turkey or pheasants I've seen roaming through Forest Park lately. But as I got closer, I realized it was a real live hawk (I think it was red-tailed) with his late afternoon squirrel snack. I stood watching him for awhile. Then not wanting to scare him, I started to edge my way slowly past. He looked over at me a couple of times, then kept on with his feeding. I realized that if this raptor was content to eat dinner with the cement trucks rumbling by on Lindell, he probably wasn't too interested in me.

It was a powerful experience to see a hawk up close, going about (his/her?) daily business. And a reminder that nature is not obliterated even in an urban setting, but given some greenspace, can thrive. I was exhilirated on the way home (also, frankly, was no longer walking into the wind). I felt privileged to see this bit of wildness, like I'd gotten a glimpse into the heart of creation, even if just for a moment.

There have been many hawk sightings since then, especially on my drive to and from Sikeston this weekend. Also a great blue heron, hanging out in a swampy drainage next to I-55 between Cape and Sikeston. Thanks be to the God of all creatures great and small.


At 10:45 AM, Blogger Don said...

There is a hawk that patrols the sheep pasture outside my office window. A few times in meetings, my colleagues and I have stopped to watch it swoop down in its majestic and frightening attack on what I assume is some poor field mouse.


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