When the hawk lands in the bare cottonwood, you have to be ready. You won’t have long before he flies away with whatever message he’s come to deliver. So have binoculars nearby. Be strong enough to keep them pressed to your eyes. Be strong enough to keep your arms from trembling at the beholding of mystery.
You’ve prepared for this coming. You’ve done push-ups. Purchased new eyeglass prescriptions. Meditated. Read all the mythology you could hold. And listened to your dreams.
The hawk comes with a cry of swiftness to the bare branch. You grab the binoculars and watch. Only his head moves from side to side. Looking here, here, here. Looking everywhere, always. How long will it perch in the cottonwood—the hawk, the revelation, the annunciation? Even with all your preparation, you fear your strength will fail at that moment you’ve been anticipating, the moment the hawk takes flight.
And so it does. Just as your shaking arms fall, the hawk flies. You missed the glory of the upswept wings, the ascension to the sky.
The hawk came because you called—prepared, even if you weren’t perfectly prepared. Revelation doesn’t wait until we can hold up ten-thousand pound binoculars for ten-thousand days. Or until we’ve meditated ten-thousand hours. Or read ten-thousand books. It’s when we’re imperfect that we most need revelation.
So look back out the window. Look here and here and here, moving your head constantly from side to side hoping for another glimpse of the hawk. And finally you understand what the hawk came to tell you. All you have to do is keep turning your head. You need only be strong enough to keep looking, here, here, and here. Keep looking everywhere, always.
Beholding is everything.
7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.
7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday of every month. Join me on January 12 for a guest post with children's book author Erik Brooks.