Monday, August 23, 2010

the hawk

I spent this past weekend in big sky, montana, where friends were getting married on saturday. these are biking friends, people I write about here every once in a while because they're pretty darn special. she is more than a dozen years younger than me, and she is my mentor. I want my girls to be her when they grown up. in her new-husband's words, she is a firecracker, full of energy and vibrancy and joyful life.
they rented an astounding chalet up the hill from the lodge at big sky, where they hosted us all for ribs and slaw and libations on friday evening, then had us back for more libations, tapas, and the ceremony itself on saturday evening. I could go on to describe everything in detail, the fifty or so guests to the food to the ambiance, but I think we'll let that stay with those who created and lived it. it's enough to say it was an honor and a joy to be part of it.
what I will share, however, is what I saw when I looked at the bride during the ceremony itself. the groom's back was to me, so I can't wax poetic about him, sorry, just about her. her face was so animated, so full of spirit and sparkle and yes, love. she was fully participative, completely engaged, absolutely engaging. it was pure delight simply to watch her.
which makes me reflect on just how beautiful we all are when we're engrossed in what we love. when we're with those we love, when we're participating in actions or events we love. when we're talking about what thrills and moves us, or when we're simply fully engaged in what we love to be doing. I love to see passion spark in people's eyes, to see joy color their aura, to watch vitality animate their features.

this morning I rode my favorite swooping stretch of road underneath a cool, clear sky and two circling hawks. on my way back up the hill, the hawks were still circling, and they were so low that I could see the detail of the feather patterns on their underbellies. the one I paid most attention to had beautiful gray, white and brown markings, almost in stripes, across its underside, and its light brown wings stretched almost four feet wide.
as I was riding beneath, looking up at this magnificent creature, the thought struck me that this beautiful bird has absolutely no idea how beautiful it is. it knows what it's meant to do, it lives by instinct and reaction, and it spends absolutely no time wondering if its feathers are pretty enough, or if its patterning is as glorious as everyone else's. it has no idea that it is a stunning work of art in my early morning sky.
just as the best of us, all of us really, have very little idea what stunning works of art we are, when we're engaged in events, activities, and moments that fill us with joy and pull out our passions.
this is one of those gentle and beautiful reminders sent by the universe via my amazing friend and a circling hawk, neither of whom had any inkling of what a priceless message they were delivering.

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