‘When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.’ John Muir

 Yesterday I spent the afternoon catching crawdads in a creek with our young son. We were passing the time while we waited for his older sister to come into town for a visit. We were hard at work catching our 9th clawed creature when a hawk circled above us and landed on a large tree. Last summer there had been a pair of very large hawks that had made their home in that same tree…. But they had not been spotted even once this summer.

This hawk was young… Beautiful to be sure, but much smaller than the pair that had become so familiar to us last year. I snapped a picture of it in part because I felt like it was a symbol of my young adult daughter who was finding her own wings… but still coming home to touch base.

The hawk did not stay perched in the tree very long…. Within minutes it took to the sky and was gone. Soon after this my daughter’s familiar voice wafted across the field announcing that she was home. We had a happy little reunion right there next to the creek as Ajay showed her his bounty of crawdads.

As Ajay continued to chase critters, she and I shared some happy mother daughter chatter- and she said that something really cool had happened on the nearly 4-hour drive home. She had been telling her boyfriend that during her childhood I had taught her how to recognize symbols in nature. As an example of what she meant, she had told him about the symbol of hawk…. and was telling him what it meant when one suddenly appeared overhead as they drove.

As she spoke, my face lit up with a smile she knows well, and she immediately knew there was more to the story. I showed her the photograph I had just snapped a few minutes before…. Of the young hawk that had perched briefly nearby and then taken off again. We both smiled at the synchronicity and I settled into the deep comfort of knowing that even though her wings may take her far away from me….  our bond is strong and clear.

I knew her visit home was just a touch in…. a chance to perch near her momma before taking off again into the blue skies of her future.

I know her wings will carry her to beautiful places…. And I can’t wait to watch her soar.