Suddenly, in one quick motion, the hawk dove straight downward, slicing into a pile of fallen leaves with brutal efficiency. For whatever reason, she came up empty and cocked her head to one side, as if puzzled at the impossibility. Undeterred, she lifted herself up and quickly flew north, closer to the lake, following its banks, its smells, and generations of instincts. The wind thrashed the tree in her absence. Somewhere in the brush, a small unseen creature sighed in relief. We watched it all go down, the world coming to us, instead of the other way around.
Afterwards, we continued on our way, walking around the next bend on the narrow path, eyes alit, senses heightened, the highlights and hues of the sun glimmering off the lake to our left. We didn’t see the hawk again. But, for the day, we were wedded with each other and her, in an event that passed quickly, but remained vivid, and therefore, telling. Because I knew, that as with rocks or pebbles thrown into the water, ripples of memory dissipate, widening until they are too weak to carry on, eventually disappearing, into calm nothingness.
Like a moment, or a day, or a lifetime. Like our mothers and fathers before us. Like the red-tailed hawk, always searching for second chances.