This is the last day. The last day of the first week of the next chapter of our lives. Kiddo has been transformed into a walker at school, from having been a bus rider. Just as unexpectedly, I have transformed into a singleparent-fulltimeworker-everythingrestsonme type person. It is Friday morning. As I pull out from the school driveway to go punch the clock, I arrive at a tee intersection. A choice. Left? Right? What the hell... I've been turning left all week. I'll try turning right.
As tired and disgruntled as I am, I can't resist the glorious sunrise birthing the day outside my window. Then I see the tree. Then I see the hawk. As I drive past, my heart skips a beat to see her on the branch of the tree, joined in silhouette against a painted sky. Shit. Where's the camera?
I just moved, four days ago. Everything is everywhere. Where is my camera? Where is it? I remember. I had dropped it into the center console to keep it safe. I have it! I pull it out and look for a place to turn around.
The mom and pops car lot I pull into has half a dozen well-loved vehicles to sell. "That's funny," I think. "That car looks just like the one I sold five months ago, two towns over, and haven't thought of since." As I drive behind it, I see the stickers I had once so joyfully applied to the back window. This is, indeed, my old car. "Ok, Universe, okay," I mutter. "I get it. I'm on the path, and I can see it."
I return to pull off the road next to the hawk. She graciously allows me time to shoot five or six shots with that little point and shoot camera. Then she flies off, into the sunrise.
My yield from that impromptu session was one good photo. I printed it. It has become one of my most noted pieces, sold, gifted, exhibited, juried in, written about in newspaper articles. That photo has become an integral part of my self-definition as a photographer. After this seven years gone by, though, I still don't see it as such.
When I look at this work, I re-immerse into that moment spent with a strong bird, sitting alone out on a limb as we shared the dawn of a new day. I remember that both that January and my heart had gone unbearably cold. I remember that paying attention to the signs helps you stay on the path... And that if I stand behind her to look the same direction, I can see what she sees with her hawk eyes.
This guest blog was written by: Staci
I love to write! I spend a ton of time outside. I have a degree in forestry. I fix computers. I was a mermaid once. "I believe that deliberate living takes time and energy. There is a beautiful grace to the connection we have with our lives, if we're willing to invest. Sometimes the effort itself is a return to mindfulness that allows other aspects in life to gain clarity. Each day becomes a canvas, and my acts boldly brush on the paint of good consequences." ~me