Standing Tall

This morning, early, long before my bedside alarm was set to go off, I was awakened by my dog’s low gruff and growl. She didn’t move or bark as she does when there is a predator animal, or maybe a cat, outside. Instead, she just seemed to want to wake me up and her job was done. As I gained awareness of the physical world around me, waking from a deep sleep, I noticed that there was a cacophony of crow caws.

They were talking up quite a storm, but I paid only a little attention. I was tired, and knew that I was set to get up in about an hour. I needed my sleep! So I went back to dreams.

When my alarm woke me, the crows were still singing their morning tune. I was now awake enough to understand that there was a message for me waiting. I put on my shoes and stepped into the backyard to see what I would see. While there were a couple of crows in the trees in my yard, the real show was across the street. There, in a densely grown tree, were several crows making their morning alarm clock. Every once in a while, one would fly around and land again. The crows from my back yard also flew across the street now to join their friends.

It took several moments for me, and a look from another angle, to spot the hawk that I knew must be there. He was sitting, with back to me, in the dense branches. The crows were flummoxed, the hawk seemed unreachable. Also, the hawk simply sat there, barely showing notice of the calls and threats. I stood there for several minutes, watching and studying the hawk amidst all of this threat and distraction.

Usually, when I witness this kind of scene, the crows end up displacing the hawk from its perch. This time, however, I was interested to see that finally the crows just left. They were unable to assail the hawk and banish it from its place. The hawk, instead, stood tall while everything around it told it to leave. When it might normally give in to the forces around it, instead it persevered.

I left, saying a silent prayer to the hawk for showing me this reminder of how to act with nobility in today’s world.