Almost every morning as I take Riley to school, I see a hawk. There is this one stretch of power line he (she?) always sits on. He stays perfectly still, looking out over a golf course with the woods and a lake behind him. Every morning, I look for him. I identify with him. I long to be like him. He is wild and free, doesn’t have to pay taxes or go to work or worry about life. He sleeps as late as he wants, catches a meal when he fancies one, and can soar high into the sky with (almost completely) relative safety. (What are the chances an eagle is around to snatch him up anyway?)
While we are different, we are much the same. I start out every morning with a drive, an ambition. Nothing can stop me. I get to work and mentally list all of the things I will conquer when I get home. I WILL organize that back bedroom. I WILL order recent family pictures. I WILL finish Riley’s scrapbook. I WILL run 2 miles. I feel strong, empowered, driven…just like that falcon.
On the way home, some days I see a flock of pigeons in that very same spot, usually about 10 of them. By the drive home, I am feeling less like my hawk and more like those pigeons. Bumbling, sort of lazy, just yapping away. They aren’t worried about organizing their nest or buying pics of their kids. They know that their 2 year old doesn’t care if the scrapbook is done (or even exists). They may fly two miles… but more likely they’ll just sit there and coo a little.
I know that when I get home and walk to dog and get supper made and get Riley to bed and finish the laundry and get ready for tomorrow, it will be 9 p.m. I can either spend an hour or two with the hubby watching Firefly, or locked in the back bed room, desperately trying to decide if I still need to keep those National Geographic magazines from 2002 (give to hubby to take to school) and what I should do with my life-size cardboard cutout of Legolas (move to the bedroom, duh).
By the end of the day, all of those things I thought were so important in my hawk-phase are deemed less important when in my pigeon-phase. My pigeon self wants to veg on the couch with my mate while becoming more addictive to Words with Friends and laughing at The Office.
But then, the next morning, I get up and drive by that hawk again. Perhaps one day he will take me under his wing.
Or maybe just poop on my car.