Originally published on Eagle Song November 8, 2015.
The Hawk and The Boy
Once there was a young hawk who, just as she had begun to learn the strength of her wings and discover the joy of flight, suffered an attack by another bird. She tumbled out of the sky and landed among the bushes. As she lay on the ground, barely able to move, she knew that she would soon die, and hopelessness filled her heart.
She eventually heard a rustling, and opened her eyes to see the face of a boy. “I saw you fall,” he said. “I came to find you. I am here to help.”
As he gathered her broken body in his arms, she felt the beat of his compassionate heart against her chest. Knowing that she was safe, she closed her eyes.
The young hawk slowly recovered, thanks to the loving care of the boy. As time passed and she regained her strength, she grew to love the boy for his gentleness. She knew that he would do anything for her.
When her wings had finally healed, the boy urged her to fly. The young hawk joyfully leaped into the air and started to spiral upward, but when she looked back, she saw that the boy had not followed her. Confused, she returned to him. She wondered why he had not joined her in the sky, when they loved each other so.
She saw the sadness on the boy’s face as he turned away. “You must go and fly,” he told her. “You were born to feel the wind caress your feathers.”
Days passed, and the hawk refused to leave the boy. She sat in a tree and watched him, and every time he looked up at her, she saw the pain in his eyes and her heart broke. “If only he would come fly with me,” she thought. “Then he would feel so much joy as we spiral together up above the earth.” And then her heart ached, too, in longing for the sensation of flight. As strong as her love was for the boy, she still felt the pull of the sky.
As time wore on, the hawk watched the boy she loved in growing despair. If only there were something she could do for him to see the joy return to his face!
Finally, one day, she could bear it no longer. “I do not know how to help you,” she thought. “I stay by your side and offer you my love, but I see only sadness in your eyes.” Her heart aching in grief, the young hawk took off, clumsily at first. It had been so long since she had flown! But as her wings found their rhythm and she began to glide higher and higher, she felt a tingle run down her spine.
And all of a sudden, from below, she heard a cry of joy! She looked down to see the boy gleefully jumping in the air, laughing and waving his arms. And as she saw the tears of happiness on his face, she felt her own heart lighten and fill with pure love and the joy of being. She whirled through the air, delighted at feeling the wind flow over her feathers and hearing the boy’s shouts from below. She knew then that, even though he would never join her in the sky, he would see her flying and he would share in her joy. “Every day, I will give him the gift of my flight,” she thought. “He will know that I love him when he sees me spiral above.” And even though she could never live on the ground with him, she would always feel his love as he witnessed her doing what she was born to do in this life.