The Hawk and the Hobo

I’m watching a hawk flying, playing with the wind, moving with no particular purpose, and I wonder when was the last time that I did something with no purpose involved, no goal, no intention? We’re coached to consider all of those things whatever our next step might be. Do you know what you’re meant to do? Do you have a plan to get there? What about your mission statement? Your goals? How will you support yourself?

And I wonder if these questions create an anchor around our ability to remember the flow? I wonder if we are so busy planning we forget that vision doesn’t come from tasks but from dreams.

I look out the window and watch the hawk again. She is letting the wind carry her wherever it wishes, only adjusting her wings to get the greatest movement. But when she is there, when the wind is one with her, she stops any movement and allows the wind do the work. And only then does she begins to soar.

Without effort, she gets a higher point of perspective. Eventually, she might spot dinner. But only because she allowed herself to be quiet and let something else elevate her view. How often have I let something carry me? When was the last time I tapped into the rhythm of the universe and let it support me so I could have the time to spot something that is going to offer me sustenance?

I’m probably one of the only children who when asked in first grade what I wanted to be responded with, “a hobo.” While the teacher laughed, I was dead serious.

My mom had these fairly creepy pictures she created by gluing different stones onto a canvas with a pattern, most of them dolls with super big eyes. But on one, she had a hobo. I stared at the picture every day.

I always admired how light his load was – only one simple handkerchief – with the freedom of jumping on a train and moving to the next adventure. He wore a patchwork shirt and simple pants. His expression was unburdened, as if at any moment he would spread his hobo arms and wait for the train that would carry him forward.

Of course this is a child’s simplified understanding of what was, then, a stereotypical hobo, but it registered with me. Until the day I tried to wrap a sandwich in my dad’s favorite handkerchief and tie it to mom’s broom to carry over my shoulder. I was running away, and got as far as the end of the driveway when the handkerchief slid off the broom and my sandwich hit the ground. I realized my need for the sandwich far outweighed the need to escape. But for about fifteen steps, I was free as a bird.

I think that if I give myself a few hours a week to be free, I might get the chance to soar. To let the universe carry me while I get an objective perspective of my daily life, searching for sustenance in meaningful moments. It doesn’t mean I won’t still hunt for opportunities, or work to get tasks done, or set goals. But for a few brief moments I will get to close my eyes in meditation or silence, and let the wind pick me up and take me on a peaceful journey.

I will ask the same energy that supports the hawk to hold me up and let me travel without effort, reminding me that I am meant to soar.