Hawk Medicine

I come to the blank page with a deep desire to entertain as much as anything. Instinctively, I want to be simple, direct and honest. If I accomplish that in a few paragraphs, I have done my job. I let inspiration guide my fingers and if I feel the urge to write, out the words come. I never have any idea of what the final sentence will be. If I am lucky, it will be just right.

I open up my body, cutting it right down the middle so that the wordsmith can walk away from the persona and reveal who she is. The strings are cut and the heart is free to speak. Today it is about hawk medicine. This is the third year that the hawks have nested in our backyard. Last year and this year they used the same nest. And last year I was privileged to see them mate right outside of my great room window.

I must be activating my ancestral spirits since the hawks are allowing me to see them raise their young. It is hard to get pictures of them; they are so high up. But we have evidence that they have used the back deck as a dining table. I see that by the droppings and the remnants of their dinner. Bits of bone left for me to get rid of with a large stick. I dare not touch them.

And when the babies fledged, they would use our chimney cap for their TV dinners, so to speak. Mom and Dad must have been close by or perhaps it was them eating the dinners. I have no idea. About a week ago I looked over the deck and found a magnificent specimen of a hawk feather lying right there waiting to be picked up. And now it is on my kitchen hutch.

I don’t know what hawk is here to share with me, although I keep looking up things about hawk medicine. I trust my writing is sharp and to the point. I dislike fuzzy writing or confusing phrases. I want to tell it like it is.

Everything is sacrificed to something else. That is the way of Great Nature. I sacrifice my time and energy to discover what it is I have come to the page to say. Be bold. Be brave. And get off the stage. Let your audience feel you and each will have their own experience of the performance. Writing is not a performance but it is a revealing look into the heart of the writer.

My heart is both cowardly and brave, both private and impersonal, both skillful and awkward. Everything is a mixed bag but the overall effect should be worth your time to read. Something yet has not been said and I am getting to the end of this essay. None of us will ever have enough time to perfect our performances on the stage of life. So it is not perfection we seek. It is heart, first, last and always. The hawk feather may be like the feather in Dumbo’s hat. It may be there to encourage me to fly. I have been holding back long enough. But if the winds favor me, now is the time and this is the place. Amen.

Vicki Woodyard
Author, Bigger Than The Sky

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