The hawk glides across the sky, soaring high above us as the first person to notice shouts, “there’s one.” Like children, we stare toward the heavens, at the beautiful blue sky. A normally humid August has graced us with a mild and glorious summer day, blending light breezes and the scent of flowers that drift our way from below the wooden platform we look out from.
We are leaning on a wooden railing facing a 50-foot drop to a perfectly manicured grassland. It stretches for acres and acres of Fort Washington State Park in southeastern Pennsylvania, just 20 miles outside Philadelphia. The observation deck was built for visitors to see wildlife, particularly, the hawks that appear, providing such beauty to an often beauty-less world, or one that seems that way to one bereft of such peace and joy.
Not the six of us, the “left-overs” from the monthly meeting of Philadelphia Area “Highly Sensitive Persons” (HSPs) who follow two new “attendants,” MaryBeth and James as they lead us to the top of this mountain site. To mingle in a World of Nature and Wonder.
Below us are purple flowered bushes, the type butterflies love to congregate and spread their wings. Over and over. Mostly yellowed covered wings, but a few blue mixed in to compliment the color scheme. Is that a red Cardinal? Yes. And a Blue Jay! And, another Blue Jay. That’s what a woodpecker looks like, someone says gazing to the feeding areas covered on three sides by large trees and the butterfly bushes on the other. Four or five Common Sparrows “sip” water from a bird bath in the shade, fluttering as one and another bump into each other, almost as if they were playing a game among its species. Maybe it is. A game we humans can learn more of Life from. Playing games. At our ages. Any ages.
But the attention-getter is that single solitary hawk. How majestic he appears. In charge. In control. Moving what seems to be effortlessly with the winds. Does he see us below? See us pointing, shading our eyes from the sun, gazing intently in his direction? Now he glides in a circle, coming near to the side of the platform, getting no closer than some 100 feet. What? Is he diving right at us, descending lower and directly above our heads? What a site! What a rare beauty.
He too is playing. Engaging with one of the few predators his kind has had to put up with for so many years, until the more compassionate of our kind banned taking their lives. The Hawk. The Eagle. The other endangered species we put on the list in USA and Canada, as well as in the industrial hearts of Europe and Asia.
You are one with the world as you fly on high, Sir Hawk. I know. I tasted it the first time I soared from an airplane, jumping with a parachute and gliding above the World, pulling “stirrups” to go left and right, forwards and backwards. The “I” in “me” disappeared. Merged with the universe, became one with the Cosmos at age 21 in the air above Ft. Benning, Ga. Would not experience that “thrill” and brief ecstasy again until meditating with a Zen Buddhist teacher decades later.
Soar on, Hawk of the Heavens. You represent our loftiest dreams, our image of collective living and sharing. Our purest unadulterated Love.
Please visit when we HSPs meet again at the Resiliency Center in Ambler come September. We’ll look to the skies for you until then.