Bird Droppings March 15, 2012
When leaving behind and moving beyond a piece is always left
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another!” Gail Sheehy, American journalist, author
Yesterday we were informed our current principal was going to the county office a significant advancement for him and a great loss for us. As I look around my room and wonder what would it be like to move to another room or another school and many of us were going through this as we are wondering who will be taking his place and with class size increases whose jobs are safe and whose are not. I am hoping I will be doing what I am this year and can stay in my room. Since boxing up nearly nine years of photos and moving many gigs of data to a portable hard drive from computers around the room would be fun. I would have to move my eland head. It is situated on a wall among former student’s photos. The eland is a head and shoulder mount and very big. I raised him from a two year old and when he died a good friend said he would be impressive mounted and well he looks pretty impressive, the largest African antelope. He was six foot at the shoulder and 1400 pounds when he was alive. My numerous aquariums and my pets would have all have to be moved as well. But as I think it is kids I would miss if I ever had to move. What I would really miss is all the many kids who come by and or have had my classes.
Yesterday was a quiet one only a few students came through. The mornings have been strange clear at three or four in the morning and then sort of clouding up as the sun comes up and then clearing later in the day. At least a bit of a contrast to the tremendous rain we have had the past few weeks. Yesterday I had gone to Shane’s Barbeque for some take out dinner my family was kinda going their own way and would be home at all different hours. As I sat in the driveway a large hawk sailed over the store. At first I thought it was a buzzard but the movement was more hawk like and as I pulled in the hawk settled on a pole directly in front of me. A big red tailed hawk just sitting about eighty feet from me watching and gazing at me through my windshield. As I pulled out he flew off.
I often wonder about such coincidences in life. What if I had been thirty minutes sooner no hawk or ten minutes later again no hawk. I chose a window of time luckily on the same wave length at least for a moment as the hawk. Maybe it was the fact I was thinking about so many Native American ideas and teaching the sacred in life and was excited talking to several old friends who are teaching and or working at the University in that area. Maybe it was simply coincidence the hawk sat and watched me.
As I write this morning being too lazy to get up earlier hopefully soon my sinus issues and gas heat will be resolved when I can turn electric air conditioning back on. I had forgotten my decongestant last night and getting up was rough. I did manage a few moments outside watching the clouds move around the little dipper an interesting arrangement literally six lines of clouds in a circle around the constellation and quickly dissipated along with a faint smile of the moon again a few minutes later or earlier and I would have missed it.
“You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round..... The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours....Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man 1863-1950
I have used this quote many times borrowing from the wisdom of Black Elk including at my father’s funeral and my youngest son’s wedding. It has been many years since I described myself as a circle, alone unopened in a short poem I wrote one night sitting alone in my apartment in Pennsylvania. As I am sitting listening to the running water from my room’s tanks and flute music from Carlos Nakai it is a peaceful feeling wandering through memories and thinking about where and when and how. Which path should I choose to walk today, tomorrow and the day after? What new trail or should I stay secure in the old.
"What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. You must teach the children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know, the earth does not belong to man, and man belongs to the earth.” Chief Seattle
I sat back and thought about my hawk yesterday and how we are all intertwined on this globe, the hawk and I my students at school each an aspect of who we are and why we are here. I look forward to the journey today as always and one day way off when a destination does approach it will be when it is. But for today I am occupied with the journey please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and to always give thanks.