Photo credit: Tony Hesgett , CC
(I chose this image, as the bird somehow seems empathic to the human condition)
I spent the morning chasing a bird, more specifically a red-tailed hawk. Our neighborhood backs onto a very nice open space which happens to be home to some beautiful creatures, including this magnificent one, which as it turns out, is very hard to keep up with.
I pulled in and my eyes were immediately drawn to it, magnanimously perched on a tiny tree close to the road. The scale of bird to tree was ridiculous - the bird might have found a more worthy sized tree. It was in the throws of hunting- so tiny tree be damned- it was going to find it's meal.
I shouldn't have felt a prayer, but I raced home to grab my camera. When I got back, the giant bird was still on it's perch. It stared at me as I clumsily fiddled with my camera in an attempt to get the long distance lens on-I am decidedly not the best at using my hands. I'm sure the hawk sensed this, as well as having probably given up on me as a source of food, despite it's audacity to sit on such a squat tree.
Down it flew to the brush below to wreak havoc on the smaller creatures, it's buteo shape (long-rounded wings) gracefully lending it's body to the ground.
It kind of mocked me for a bit...
Flying around so low, easily floating about without touching the ground, possibly only pretending to seek it's smaller prey.
It did pause to check me out every now and again, though, so who knows?
I like to be prepared for all unknowns.
The plan was to hunch over and hide under my wool jacket protected fully from its razor sharp talons.
In the end, I had nothing to worry about - except that I wouldn't be getting the picture I desired. Sick of my wool coat protected stalking, it flew to the other end of the open space and perched on a larger tree.
Even though I was outsmarted, I still wouldn't give up. I hopped in my van and raced to the other end of the neighborhood. I parked and despite fears of a massive beak pecking out my eyes, set out for the North entrance of the open space ON FOOT!
The hawk had had enough of me, or found prey to swoop down upon. Either way I was left to gaze upon the bare bones of the trees around me. I took a picture only to feel like I was doing something.
Truth be told, it wasn't the day for photography. There was an inversion that cast an eery glow on the surrounding sky, resulting in low image quality.
Still, the lesson wasn't lost on me as I walked slowly back to my car.
I learned something besides the fact that I should keep the camera in the car at all times-special lens on.
I thought of how the feeling of the chase was all too familiar. I didn't feel like I failed. I saw the potential for something real. Something that I wanted. It's the same as chasing my dream.
Every step of the way, though not every move will be successful, it leads you toward your goal. Whether you are traveling at a snails pace, or the speed of hyper space - you will eventually get where you want to go.
Having a dream causes you to go outside yourself, and run after something majestic. On the way, you'll find exhilaration, like the thought of capturing something beautiful, sometimes lending itself to disappointment, but never boredom.
No matter what, it's worth it.