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Eyes of the Hawk’s, Part One

I shake off the last of my morning java jitters and step through the door carefully. Here I am.

A deep breath marries me to the smell of the desert. Sage is plentiful here. There are some manzanita off through the mesa. A roadrunner couple precociously dances at a million miles an hour at the very edge of my peripheral vision. I know they're there, well enough. My companions, blind though they are, know too. Regular doses of hot sunshine have been coloring the white of my eastern skin. These walks have been good for me.

If I look hard enough into the desert, I can see the outlines of cliffs where ancient men had scrawled sentiments in the form of petroglyphs. Man makes home. Man travels far. Man finds success on the hunt. These are the same sentiments that we express today. Human life is universal in its most basic truths. I diverge - that won't serve me here. I need to focus in the moment.

A steady breeze is puffing warm dust. I shift my position in anticipation

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. This will be a good day. We turn left and follow the road to where it ends in sand and shrub. The sun behind us, in the same direction as the source of the wind, is compelling. I'm glad that I had left behind the vestiges of winter on this early spring day. Wearing lighter clothing outside feels like waking up to me. We keep walking.

There is no prescription for the length of time or distance we'll go. It depends on what feels right. My arms have been gaining strength on these walks. It's surprising, though. For the size of my burdens, there is remarkably little weight. Just holding my arms in this position for so long takes some stamina. We're getting there.

Hikes, walks, runs, life journeys, they can all be measured by the halves. If you know you're coming back, how far you venture depends sometimes on what it'll take to return. It's not smart to exceed the distance you can successfully navigate back. We're here.

My human companion is here today to help me. She has her own walks into the desert that I assist with. Today it's my turn. I carefully turn my torso so that she can reach the bird sitting on my left glove. She un-hoods her. Now that one bird is head-free, my friend works quickly to release the bird sitting on my right glove. Quick timing can reduce the chaos a little bit. My raptor friends shake volume into their feathers and look around. I turn my front into the wind, and I close my eyes with sun on my face. Each hand tethered to a magnificent specimen, I have faith that they'll know what to do.

These birds, they've been so damaged or injured that they can't return to the wild... those journeys of theirs exceeded their halves. We care for them. We take them to schools to teach children about birds of prey. We feed them, mind their talons, and visit with them. We walk them in the desert.

The air moves, and I feel my winged friends shift to ready themselves. On days like this when I was a kid, all we wanted to do was take kites to powerline-free fields and run into the wind. We were free. Our long hair blew behind us in banners. It felt like flying when our kites took to the sky to soar, taking our hearts with them. Today, my kites are hawks, and I don't have to launch them. I only need to point properly.

I can tell by my birds that the right wind is coming. They shuffle their feet to find a comfortable stance and open their wings. As the moving heat rolls over us, the weights on my arms drop to nothing and my tethers go taut. I open my eyes. They're hovering, each above a gloved fist, glorious in their hollow feathers and streamlined wingshapes. The light glides golden down their floating contours. All is alright in the world right now. There is nothing else.

This guest blog was written by: Staci

Staci's Bio
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

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