I was sitting outside in a little park writing in my journal, and a young hawk started vocalizing at me–almost like a bark or squawk. She flew across the little grassy area, and was sitting in the tree when I took her picture. She came back to the tree above me, and then flew off with another bird.
Meanwhile I was writing in my journal and working on a part of myself that I’ve been troubled by. I was trying to sort out how to stop being critical, or thinking I know better than someone else. Rather than try to get rid of a part, a more helpful practice can be to befriend the parts that we don’t like. So I decided to name that part Athena Advice-giver. Since the goddess Athena was born from the head of her father. And I know my critical self was born from the critical side of my father, and from the critical side of his mother. I asked Athena what she needed. I wrote a lot.
And then the hawk came back again squawking at me, and flying around the park. Getting my attention. She really did seem to be talking to me, rather than occupied with something else. Maybe she was just annoyed that I was sitting there. Or maybe she just enjoyed my being there. I got up from my writing and took pictures of her with my phone, and a video so I could remember her calls.
And writing again, another voice of wisdom came to help Athena evolve, to honor her essence, and bring it to a deeper maturity. It said:
If you keep thinking you have the best way, you don’t get to learn the wisdom in other ways. If you stay open to all wisdom, your own will grow–remember that. The wisdom of the hawk, the wisdom of the white pine, the wisdom of your partner, the wisdom of the groundhog, the wisdom of the drum, the wisdom of the desert. Remember your curiosity. Curiosity can be the antidote to criticism.
Let yourself be curious and honor the wisdom of all beings. They are your teachers. Each being is wise. And you are not the only one to deal with these challenges.
When I walked back to the apartment, my friend Virginia Marie told me that hawks represent transformation. They often appear when we are in ceremonies of transformation. My writing is a form of ceremony, and this time in New Mexico, a ceremony. So I give thanks!