Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Up Drafts and the Red Tailed Hawk Pair
This week the new "spring" schedule gets off to a real start. In spite of the snow, everything about the days right now feels like those initial days of spring when you see signs of new growth everywhere. It's not a global warming thing--it's an updraft. A period where you feel supported by an unseen force. Spiritually warmer than you can explain. Hopeful. Expectant. And things seem in proper perspective. You are aware of the problems (one of my clients is struggling to pay in a timely manner. I just got a check but it was two weeks late. I don't know when I'll get paid again.) but they are not blown out of proportion (it is what it is). Although things are less stressful than they have been in a long time, we are still not at the point we plan, eventually, to be. It will be awhile yet. Still, Chris's business plans are really taking shape. They may involve sending him back to school. I'm really okay with that. He and I were both a bit surprised by that. He knows I'm ready for him to start contributing more to the family financially. But we discussed what that would need to look like and we agree that it doesn't exclude going back to school. The specific degree program he is interested in just sounds right to me. He can learn and do simultaneously with this new path.
My goal, more than two years ago, when I first suggested to Chris that he cut his ties with Honda and we sell the Southern California "life" and "buy into" the life we have now in central Pennsylvania, was to be HIS updraft, (may the first person to quote Bette Midler lyrics in the comment section die a terrible death) until he could spy what it was he wanted next and would begin to beat his wings again--off in pursuit of whatever needs he and I and our children would need. I have wondered, sometimes, in the last six months or so, if this was a mistake. Maybe an adult should always find his own updrafts. Maybe in urging him to leave Honda, I missed some critical . . . thing . . . about men and their careers . . . I worried that rather than lifting him to a new level--I had inadvertently led him down a path where he didn't even WANT to fly anymore.
Continuing my hawk analogy though, I don't know if I would do anything differently if we were back there again. We needed to fly off and bring home the equivalent of a dead DEER every freakin' day there. And it was killing us both. That's a LOT of meat for two small hawks with three chicks (two of whom would color on the walls every time we turned our backs.) Maybe if we'd been better at doing it together--but we weren't. The constant moves and Chris's specific responsibilities at Honda had trained us to live "separate but equal" lives, and not "equal and united" lives.
And so we have spent the last two years relearning how to a) live in the nest together again and b) live on mice, instead of deer, and c) be content with that.
Two years and one week ago--it was the first Wednesday of January--we were in a similar spot. Having resolved together to reopen the search for "where to go next," we prayed and received as an answer an old college friend's Christmas letter, which included praise for the area and an invitation to at least have a visit. If you've been reading this blog for long, you know how that all worked out (if you haven't, the simple answer is: well. It worked out well.)
Today in the kitchen Mr. Hawk and I touched wings for a moment and I felt that familiar warm rush of air. He seem in that moment to lift higher into the sky and I watched him beat his wings and fly a little ahead. In that moment he seemed everything a She-Hawk could want in a mate. Solid. Dependable. Generous. Good at finding tasty mice morsels. Not in too big of a hurry to push the chicks from the nest. Sexy streaks of red in his tail feathers.
All updrafts come to an end. The cold air swirls around you again and you're back to beating your wings to stay up--but don't they feel amazing when they come--like the breath of God, lifting you and your mate above the tops of the trees and providing you with a brief glimpse of the future. Here's wishing you and yours a warm winter updraft of your own. I am using this one to spiritually refuel a bit. I feel badly for not blogging as much, but we'll get things caught up soon.