I’m not a nature lover, which is not to say that I don’t love the outdoors, I’m just not a transcendentalist sort of person, having grown up in the suburbs, close to a large city. Haiku, with layers of meaning based on observations of the natural world, don’t interest me. Maybe that makes me shallow, but it’s the truth.
That said, right now I’m looking out the window of my writing room (slash guest room, storage closet, and yoga room) at the bare branches of the tulip poplar beyond the neighbor’s house, and can see a red-tailed hawk high above the roof tops. We are both at our perches, looking around. It’s a thrill to see this animal in its environment, peaceful yet primed to find its next meal – a little squirrel or chipmunk digging for acorns.
There’s a hawk’s nest in my backyard too, about fifty feet up. I can judge the height from the time I did one of those team-building exercises which involved climbing forty feet up a tree trunk. We climbed on metal rungs that had been hammered into the trunk, and then inched our way across a metal cable suspended between two trees. There were ropes hanging from another cable every five feet or so. The object was to cross to the other side by walking across the cable, grabbing onto the ropes.
What I learned that day was not to look down. The PE coach (it was a teacher training weekend) kept yelling, “Keep your eyes on the next rope!”
The analogy is to apply the lesson to life, as in goal setting. Instead of being afraid of failing, continue envisioning the end result.
The hawk is still placidly surveying the the gray morning.
Update: My column is up at read write poem. Go read about the bop!