It was a gorgeous clear day as I was out for my morning walk last week. Blue skies, warm weather, soft ocean breeze. I was in a great mood, happy to be out and enjoying the day. Everything seemed to be sparkling and vibrating with a positive energy.
As I was nearing the end of my route, I saw a hawk soaring in the sky, a few blocks away and to the right of me. I slowed down my pace to watch it in the distance … wings extended w-i-d-e … utterly effortless … soaring on the air currents.
Dipping one wing ever so slightly, the hawk made slow, lazy circles against the blue sky. One circle, two circles … no flapping of wings, just circling with absolutely no effort of any kind. Is anything in life as utterly effortless as that hawk soaring up there? I thought. Straightening out, the hawk lifted a little higher in the sky and began riding the air currents in my direction.
I was captivated by the peace and grandeur of this majestic bird. As I watched, I imagined what it would be like to be that hawk. Simply opening my arms/wings wide – opening up my heart and spirit - and soaring … soaring … completely unfettered, utterly free … no anchor binding me to earth, trusting that the air currents would support my journey … not making the slightest effort, no flap of wings, no sense of urgency. Nothing to do, nothing to undo. Just be. How peaceful it would be to soar like that, up in the silent sky above.
In an interview recently, the interviewer asked me what I’ve been doing since I was laid off in March. I gave an answer, but later I thought about it more. What have I been doing?
I’ve experienced the peace and beauty of a hawk soaring in the heavens.
I’ve laughed at the squirrels scampering along the lawn or at an industrious one hurrying up a tree with a peanut safely in its mouth.
I’ve made friends along my walking route: Jan and her Corgi, Penny Lane; John and his grandson; Geri who had shoulder surgery; the young couple who rescue and foster big dogs; the older couple who foster Great Pyrenees.
I’ve sat outside in the summer, enjoying my garden and the golden sunshine.
When a friend was in the hospital for lung surgery I went to visit her.
When my granddaughters had dentist appointments, I took them.
On Veterans Day, I went to Pier Plaza for a very moving ceremony.
When my old high school friend, June, came out to California to visit, we spent an afternoon at the beach catching up and laughing and crying as we shared our life experiences.
I took my family for a wonderful vacation in Mexico on the Mayan Riviera. And there were no worries about all the work I’d have to come back to.
I’ve fostered a wonderful, perfect dog named Snowbell that I fell in love with.
I’ve tackled long-delayed chores, giving the garden a thorough clean-up, painting the bathroom, painting and re-organizing my office (still in progress).
I’ve walked every day in the sunshine, firming up my legs and hips, strengthening my back, my skin brown from the sun, losing 15lbs. so far.
And this last week, I spent time with my son-in-law in the hospital, giving him massages to help with the nausea, spending time with him as his doctors found the cause of his illness and helped him to regain his health.
What have I been doing since I’ve been laid off? I’ve been grateful for the many wonderful and beautiful opportunities I’ve been given, so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do while working. I’ve slowed down, smelled the roses, walked in the sunshine.
I’ve opened my arms wide and I’ve soared.