Leaving behind and moving forward

Bird Droppings January 4, 2011
Leaving behind moving forward

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for
what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life
before we can enter into another!” Gail Sheehy, American journalist, author

I look around my room and wonder what would it be like to move to another room or another school not that I am by any means but just the thought. Boxing up nearly ten years of photos and moving many gigs of data to a portable hard drive from computers around the room is only the beginning. I would have to move my eland head, situated on a wall is an eland mount. I raised him from a two year old and when he died we had him mounted, well he looks pretty impressive being the largest African antelope. He was six foot at the shoulder and nearly fourteen hundred pounds when he was alive. Of course a big aspect of moving would be the numerous aquariums and my pets. But the more I think and ponder it is the kids, I would miss them the most. Not just my students but all the many kids who come by and or have been by over the years.
I started the day sitting thinking in the dark of the morning a bit of red willow bark and sage smoldering in a bowl and I watched the wisp of smoke rise and turn as there was little wind today. Shortly thereafter the sun began to rise and one of the most spectacular sunrises in many days spilled out of the sky. The sunrise is out at least a bit in contrast to rain and clouds we have had the past few days.
This morning as I headed out to the dentist a red tailed hawk was sitting near the house and reminded me of several years ago I had gone to Zaxby’s in Centerville for take out dinner everyone was kind of going their own way that night and would be home all different hours. As I sat in the drive through a large red tailed hawk sailed over the store. At first I thought it was a buzzard but the movement was more hawk like and as I pulled in to pay the hawk settled on a pole directly in front of me. A big red tailed hawk just sitting about eighty feet from me watching gazing at me through my wind shield. As I pulled out he flew off. I often wonder about such coincidences in life that hawk this morning as I made the turn on the highway and that hawk at Zaxby’s a few years back. What if I had been thirty minutes sooner no hawk or ten minutes later. I chose a window of time and luckily on the same wave length at least for a moment as the two hawks.
Maybe it was the fact I was thinking about teaching animal science and was excited talking to several old friends who are teaching and or working at the University in that area. Maybe it was simply coincidence the hawk sat and watched me. As I write this afternoon being to lazy to get started any sooner while on holiday hopefully soon I will get back on track. I had forgotten my allergy decongestant last night and getting up was rough this morning. I did manage a few moments outside watching the clouds move around the little dipper it was an interesting arrangement literally six lines of clouds in a circle around the constellation and quickly dissipated. Again a few minutes later or earlier and I would have missed it.

“You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round….. The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours….Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man 1863-1950

I have used this quote many times borrowing from the wisdom of Black Elk in weddings and funerals. It has been many years since I described my self as a circle, alone unopened sitting writing in an apartment in Pennsylvania. So here I and sitting listening to running water from my son’s aquariums and flute music from Carlos Nakai it is a peaceful feeling wandering through memories and thinking about where and when and how. So I sit and ponder which path to choose and walk tomorrow and the day after a new trail or stay secure on the old.

“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. You must teach the children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know, the earth does not belong to man, and man belongs to the earth.” “Chief Seattle

I sat back and thought about my hawk yesterday and how we are all intertwined on this globe. The hawk and I and students at school each an aspect of who we are and why we are here. I look forward to a journey as always and one day way off when there will be a destination, for today I am occupied with the journey.

“Absolutely speaking, Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you is by no means a golden rule, but the best of current silver. An honest man would have but little occasion for it. It is golden not to have any rule at all in such a case.” Henry David Thoreau

The day is drawing to a close and I am close to fixing dinner. One last reminder please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.

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