Bird Watching

When I speak, the ghost of self leaks out my mouth.  Like smoke, or vapor.  My fingers curl out from my nostrils.  I am watching the all of me cast out and drive away.

It is too hot here. And the world is far too sad. There is too much anger for the sadness, as if we cannot separate the two.  As if bad feelings all equate to negativity, and hard feelings get wrapped up in the vengefulness.

I am outside, in the desert, and the heat is fierce.  It is almost angry in the comforts of its light.  It is like a dragon speaking love, or Firegods reading bedtime tales to weary babes.  Hephaestus. Must every god be seeking its revenge?

I never thought that I’d grow tired of anger.  I never thought the day would come that it would make me sad and not enraged.  What new tier of living have I reached?  Is this evolution?  Or a fond retelling of the truth.

It is hot outside. And I think upon the day on which those rangers said that I would never make it through the mountains.  I think it funny—how little is an understanding such as theirs.

For a woman who needs healing will walk many miles within the wilderness.  A woman who needs revival, who needs her second birth, will morph the shape of anger into sadness, and violence into standing for the right.

A woman who needs healing does not flinch at things like heat.  She photosynthesizes in the light.  She glows and glimmers.  She becomes fire.  Hestia.

Above me, in the dark, a Nighthawk flickers.  I think it is a bat, at first, in its erratic, chaos patterns of sure flight. The gray thickness of its body.

I think it is a bat, at first.  In fact, I am almost certain.

But the wings, with their small and striking circles of stark white, deceive the image I have made. The Nighthawk soars above me.

The spirit of creatives—of artists, healers, writers.  Ideal guide for accessing higher truths.  On top, its dulled and battered feathers are mundane, but, beneath its wings, the vibrancy of streaking colors celebrate a richness of the spirit.

I feel honored to have had a moment with the wild, erratic flying of a creature such as this.  Between the palms, it darts and spreads the lifeline of the quenching on its wings.  Each tip of feathered point is more for me to drink from, and I find myself encapsulated by the dances it performs against the sky.

Flying in the dusk, its ties to day reflect the masculinity of self.  Its ties to night reflect the feminine.  As such, both patterns are reflected in the minds of those who watch.

The nighthawk nests on the ground, and hunts in the air.  Both elements of life it needs the grounding and the freefall from the sky. When I need my grounding, I turn to that which rests upon the soil.

And boy, do I need grounding.

This love and sadness that I feel places me in some odd strange sort of other.  I am floating with the all of it.  I need the thing that brings me back to shore.

The nighthawk flies to feed, but then she lands to nest.  Perhaps, I am missing the rest that she demands.  Perhaps it must be time for me to slumber for a while.  The all of me is floating all away.  What is there to tie me back to self?

Receive, the Nighthawk says, with her too wide open mouth behind small bill.  Receive the rest. 

Beneath the wide and open desert sky, I close my eyes.  For just a moment, I open up these hands now to receive.  The muscles are tired.  Closed fists exhaust a spirit.  But, for now, I open.  I listen. I receive the rest that only she may give.

Travel to your nearest desert, friends.  Let the dry and arid landscape remind you of the wealth of spirit that you own.  Watch the Nighthawks, and let them bless you in their travels all across the sky.  Receive your rest and take it.  Anger will one day evolve to sadness.  Time develops all.  We can only move forward.

12 thoughts on “Bird Watching

  1. Shayleene, This is amazing, excellently written, so timely for all, but especially me. You captured the beauty of the Nighthawk perfectly. I loved your use of metaphor. I will share this on my Facebook page.


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  2. This reminds me of the time I hiked across country. It was the mid-1970s. I had left Texas behind, searching for a new beginning. I didn’t know where I would end up but I wasn’t worried about the destination. One night I was camped out in the the desert someways off the highway. There wasn’t a sound as I lay under the nightsky the way Abraham must have some three thousand years ago. It was all quiet, just me and the desert in the middle of February. I looked up at the sky and stared at the sky. I was in awe of the wonder of those stars so far away and yet so near. For the first time in a long time, I was happy. Though I wasn’t sure of the future, i loved that present. Thank you for sharing your heart. I just want you to know what a light you are. And I salute you for your bravery and courage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That is exactly what I was trying to capture. It is this odd, blissful sort of energy. Like your brain is coming to terms with the fact that in all of this–in all of this world and stars and night sky, I am here. And living. And what a crazy, frightening feeling that is. Keep on keeping on Don. Love sharing this little world with you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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