I was chosen to witness nature at her finest. I was sitting at my desk this morning – a beautiful pre-Spring sunlit morning. My current task at hand was to find and email a file to my husband as he left the house without it. My desk is facing a large picture window that looks out over my front yard. Across the street is the neighbor’s yard in which there is a phone pole with a transformer secured to it. I point this out because whenever there is a thunderstorm, there is a good chance that lightening will strike and explode the transformer blanketing our street in a gentle coat of darkness.
Adjacent to the phone pole is an oak tree that has been cut away from overhead lines to the point where it is left with no branches with which to celebrate the impending Spring. Behind this abused tree is a more robust survivor of residential mayhem. And it is in a branch of this tree that my miraculous National Geographic moment occurred.
As I looked out the window, I spotted a red-tailed hawk glide gracefully and come to rest on a branch. Pretty cool. But then a second hawk swooped in on top of the first hawk and, blushing aside, the pagan festival of fertility began. I was mesmerized by the mating hawks and quickly realized that my binoculars were sitting on my desk (we had been watching some nest building activity earlier that week). I picked up the binoculars, focused the lens, and watched in awe. Let me just say that male hawks apparently don’t mess around when it comes to sex as the act was started and completed in tens of seconds, not minutes. Shortly after the deed was done, the two separated, both perched side by side on the branch. Then the male flew off, leaving the female hawk busily preening her ruffled feathers.
I have since learned that courtship begins with a flight of the circling pair taking place at heights of 1000 feet or more. This sets up acrobatic dives of up to 100 mph. Once the female touches down on a perch, the male spirals down to join her and mating takes place. For all you romantics out there, I also learned that red-tailed hawks mate for life. Only when their partner dies will they will find another, but not until then.
I feel so honored to have caught this window of beauty. The timing of events in my life placed me in a front-row seat (armed with binoculars, mind you) to witness these majestic animals. Could it be that I have hawk as my animal totem? Perhaps some hawk medicine is coming my way. I feel a deep sense of gratitude and am reminded to pay attention. Just pay attention. Namaste.