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Universal Connections - Part Four
The expanse of sky was vast before her. She could see beyond life itself with eyes designed to take in everything. She felt the wind rush over her wings and smiled at the feeling. There was nothing like flying. She absorbed the rays of the sun through her shimmering feathers. She wished her bliss could go on forever, suspended in time and space. However, she knew at some point she would have to land and return to a world full of chaos and stress. She tilted her wing and felt the air shift as she arced into a slow dive toward the earth. The tips of trees became visible, swaying in the morning breeze. She loved this place, but it was nothing compared to the in-between reality of flying. She stretched out her talons and prepared to grip the branch of an evergreen tree when suddenly she felt the presence of a predator. She landed quietly and peered through the pockets of light in the branches. Whatever creature she sensed was below her on a branch closer to the ground. She got the feeling that the danger was not directed toward her, but rather a small animal lurking on the forest floor. She felt sorry for it; completely unaware that its life was hanging in the balance. Rather than wait for the unsuspecting animal to be attacked, the eagle once again rose into the sky to seek peaceful rest.
After flying for an unmeasured amount of time, the eagle ducked below the darkening clouds. She watched as hills and streams unfolded like a story below her. She felt a sort of reverence for the earth’s ever-changing surface. She thought of all the little animals fighting to survive in such a fierce world; many of them never knowing how it feels to soar away from the danger and unpredictability of life on earth. Resurfacing from her thoughts, the eagle spotted a rocky cliff overlooking a river. She had been searching for a place to call home ever since she left the security of her family. It was an inevitable part of life, but it still filled her with a feeling of wistfulness.
Longing for shelter, the eagle circled toward the cliff and landed in a tree near the edge. She quietly began preening herself and prepared for listless sleep. She wished she could remain awake forever. The dreamlike quality of her life made sleep seem unnecessary and dull. However, she knew she must restore her vigor for the day to come. And with that thought in mind, she drifted into a meditative state of relaxation.
As morning broke over the east side of the mountain, the eagle opened her eyes and gazed at the sun. She stretched out her wings and ruffled her broad feathers while she listened for the sound of fish fanning their fins in the sun’s rays. She looked down and saw the shining reflection of a salmon in the water below and silently relinquished her grip on the branch. She rushed through the air like a bullet with perfect aim toward the unsuspecting fish. At the last second she pulled upward and captured the squirming body of the creature with her talons. She gracefully propelled her body in an arc back up toward the cliff. Alighting on a ledge, she began pulling apart the smooth flesh of her catch. She enjoyed hunting as much as any predator, but she felt that air abiding hunters had a unique advantage in the wild. Her ability to spot prey from over two miles away gave her a sense of near divinity. If God existed, he must have been a bird of prey.
Once she completed her meal, the eagle remained on the ledge and scanned the opposite side of the river. The water seemed to have driven a crack into the face of the mountain which had grown deeper and wider as the years wore on. She began thinking of families, birds and other animals being raised here, when she heard a distant cry. It sounded familiar, as though from a dream. She looked around trying to locate the source. Her muscles began to tense as she prepared to take flight at the first sign of danger. Still scanning the cliff in front of her and keeping an eye on the sky above her, she began to relax. She wanted to know what made the sound, but she didn’t want to get attacked if it was a predator. Suddenly, a dark figure thrust itself through the air above her and landed atop a tree across the river. The figure let out a screech which she realized matched the unusual cry. Excited, she moved out to the edge of her perch to position herself directly in front of the trees on the other side of the expanse. The shrouded figure emerged with wings wide and rose into the air. The eagle was intrigued to see another of her kind, and continued to watch as the male eagle dove between the cliffs. He pulled out of his dive just in time to grab a shimmering fish from the water and once again launch himself into the air. The female watched him glide back toward the sky with a sense of longing. She had never flown with another eagle before. He dropped down slightly and came toward her perch, flying gracefully with the fish held in his powerful grip. As he flew above her, he dropped the fish onto her ledge and arced back toward his side of the river to catch another for himself.
This ritual continued for two days until finally the female eagle rose into the sky and silently invited the male to join her. She flew with him and watched as he led the way through the vast openness. They were nearly the same, and she had never felt such a closeness with any other creature. She felt drawn to him and the surreal connection between them. He showed her a new side of life she hadn’t known existed and their bond couldn’t be broken be any earthly power.
Finally, the two eagles flew high into the sky and closed the distance between each other in no time at all. In a movement that seemed almost rehearsed, the female and the male locked talons and extended their wings out into the open air. Connected by sheer instinct, they hurtled down toward the earth. Their talons never slipped and their posture remained open. They trusted each other and defied fear as they fell into the clutches of the universe’s true intention.
The coffee pot gurgled and puffed...
The coffee pot gurgled and puffed in the quiet morning air. I sat at the worn table and put on my reading glasses. An article caught my eye, “Hazelnut Fest – A German Holiday Market”. We should go check that out, I thought just as Hyun shuffled in and went to pour the coffee.
“When are they coming again?” I asked for about the hundredth time that week.
“She said around nine.” She called, her smile leaking into her words.
I checked my watch, ten to nine. Hyun placed a mug down next to me and sat in the adjacent chair. She reached out her hand and rested it on mine. I turned it over and grasped her still smooth skin tightly. We were both more excited than we would let on.
Sipping coffee and listening to the clock tick by, we patiently waited for the bell to ring.
Suddenly, I heard a car pull up outside the house and the subtle closing of car doors. I looked at Hyun and smiled. Our daughter was home.
We made our way to the door and pulled it open just as two brown topped heads bobbed into view on the porch.
“Grandma, Grandpa!” the children squealed and embraced us both around the knees.
We hugged them back then looked up to see our beautiful daughter and her husband coming up the steps. Greeting each of them with hugs and kisses on the cheek, my wife ushered her grandchildren and her son in law into the house. I lingered for a moment and reached out a wrinkled hand to my daughter. She took it and pulled me into a hug.
“It’s good to have you home, Sun.”
“It’s good to be home.”