To give my eyes a break from speedy moving screens, I take a walk and look up at the soft, blue, daytime sky. I see clouds that are in no hurry, and my breathing slows. I follow the smooth long carving path of a red-tailed hawk, as he scoops air on outstretched wings in a welcoming quiet sky.
My neck and shoulders are tense. As I walk down the path, I roll my shoulders, and hear crunch and pop, as tight muscles beg to be invited to stretch like the long wings of the hawk, who seems to own the sky and command the wind. He feels the shape and strength of each breeze and smoothly ducks below, around, or above it, the two in a flawless dance. I imitate his moves with my arms as I watch him.
Then two black crows fly toward the hawk, squawk constantly at him, then dive and bark to knock him off his graceful flight. I squint and watch the crows grow in fervor as the hawk flies lower and in more narrow circles. The crows are smaller and capable of tighter and faster turns and twists. I see them bump him and he warns them with a screech, but they are relentless. The hawk has sighted their nest in a tall oak tree and is circling down to steal.
As I take a right turn on the dirt path and smell the star jasmine, I think about time.
I have been doing errands and going out more, dining with others, and attending live events. But I am missing TIME TO MYSELF, to read or write or just think. What about this precious time that I miss? Is it always being stolen by others? No, I can mismanage it all on my own. I feel the magnetic pull of checking my phone “for a few minutes” and then hours may go by. Sometimes I grab and scroll instead of “real” reading (the book I just got) or writing, or starting whatever else is on my to-do list. If I read bad news online, I may float away in a timeless, mindless bubble to cushion the pain. And then the day is gone.
But the hawk? No. He is always chill. His time belongs to himself. He carves lines in the sky for fun, flowing with the wind, then turns his focus on preying on the crow’s nest. He goes from play to work, taking the eggs he steals back to his nest to feed his family. He provides for those he loves. His rhythms of play, work, and love are all seemingly seamless in my eyes. Unlike me, he never loses time, wastes it, or can’t find it. He does not hurry or worry about being late, nor is he overly proud when he gets there on time. He flows with the wind. Time is his friend. When will I make it mine?