he Northern Mockingbird who sings every morning just after dawn has, I think, found a mate. Yesterday his song changed dramatically, at least to my terrestrial ears. Before it had been hopeful, excited, lyrical, yearning. Yesterday and today it was nothing short of triumphant, a confident joy.
Two nights running I had a strong dream of me carrying a hawk in my arms. I’m not sure what kind of hawk it is; when I look down, it’s usually huddling in the crook of my left arm, as if it is a little cold or a little afraid. It relaxes when I stroke it.
Then on Facebook, a friend posted a photo of a man cradling a rooster a little too lovingly. Wanted to know if it was me. For several years now, some Internet pals have called me Chicken Boy because the first wedding at which I officiated, I was photographed (in full ministerial garb) standing next to a giant wooden cut-out of a hen in a field. Somehow they leapt from a whimsical wedding on a Vermont mountaintop to a decidedly venal projection of zoophilic desires.
During this afternoon’s nap I have the hawk dream again.
One of the animals in my shamanic pantheon is Golden Eagle. Of all the helping spirits, he’s the one I haven’t gotten to know very well. Then yesterday, viewing an audio slideshow of an astoundingly beautiful upcoming documentary series, I saw a few photos of men in the Tungus region of Siberia using golden eagles as hunting birds. And suddenly I remembered that the word shaman originated with these very people.
Honestly, I blame Indigo Bunting and her husband for all this. I was relatively blasé about birds until I met them and caught a touch of their birding fever. I’m really not a birder. But I now adore them, especially here in Florida, where on any given day I can see Sandhill Cranes, peacocks, ibises, egrets and herons galore, an anhinga or two, plus all the regular birds spread over a large portion of the eastern US.
And no, I don’t have any idea what this means. Speak to me, birds. I’ll listen to whatever you have to say.