Friday, June 17, 2005

Sky Dance

I was in my favorite place for the last few days - Kentucky, riding
with some of my reps.  About 11:30 on Wednesday we stopped at a hospital
to make a call on a pediatrician.  As we were going toward the door my
cell phone rang and I stopped to take the call while the rep went on in.

As I was standing at the side of the parking lot and talking I was
scanning the sky and looking at the wonderful blue background for the high
white clouds when I noticed a bird flying.

At first I thought it might be a smaller bird that was very close, but
I realized it was riding the thermals...circling and flying higher as I
watched.  I hung up and stood in that spot and watched the show of a
lifetime.  It was a red tail hawk (It eventually flew right over me and I
could tell) and was enjoying the clear sky like a kid at an amusement

It would soar and catch a thermal to ride to the heights.  When one
would give out I could see it keep wings spread but slowly fall to lower
spaces.  then suddenly it would begin that familiar circling as a
wingtip caught another thermal.  Up and up it would go again, over and over
it did this.  If you imagine the sky above me like a horizontal clock,
I first noticed the hawk at about 11:00 on the horizontal plane.

For ten minutes it rode the winds as it made a slow circle all around
me.  It rode up in circles then would soar till another was found.  When
it was almost overhead I looked up and saw the patterns on its belly
and under wings and knew it was a red tail.

When I had watched for almost fifteen the hawk was in the sky behind
the hospital building.  I moved several times to keep it in sight but it
finally was fully behind the building.  I almost ran to the other end
of the small country hospital only to catch a glimpse of the hawk
soaring away...searching for another thermal to lift it up into the heights.

I thought of the connections my family has to the Cherokee, Choctaw and
Powhatan tribes and realized how precious those distant ancestors would
have thought that sight.  No wonder many Native Americans felt the hawk
and eagle were sacred.

I hoped at first the lady I was with that day would come out so I could
show her.  After several minutes I hoped she would remain inside so I
could stay as long as possible and see this amazing sight...and she did.

I suspect thousands could have stopped and seen the same sight if they
had looked up.  I wondered as we rode on to our next appointment...who
shared that sight with me?  Did anyone bother to take time from their
day and look to the heavens, did they look into the blue sky and just
scan the clouds that day just to "see" the world around them?

My guess is they did not.  Most heads were probably down, grounded in
the grind of that moment.  I feel blessed that I was privy to the joy of
that one lone red tail hawk as it danced the air for me.

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