On Being An Eagle and Eating Fish
Yesterday as I gazed out over lake Audubon a huge bald eagle flew over with a fish in it’s talons. To my delight it landed in my backyard on a tree branch and proceeded to eat it’s lunch. I was intrigued by what happened next.
Almost immediately the crows arrived, first one, then two, then three cawing and heckling the eagle. I have often seen them heckle hawks, in the air as well as when they have landed somewhere, so I was most curious to see how the eagle would respond. I was reminded of at least two important things in watching the minutes unfold in this noisy interchange.
The eagle initially did not even acknowledge their presence – continuing to eat as though it was the best fish ever. As the number of crows grew along with the noise level of their cawing, the eagle slowly looked up at them, as if to say, “If you have a problem, take it somewhere else – can you not see that I am enjoying my lunch?”
For me this spoke to being a powerful presence in a given situation and having no real fear about others as a threat (unless it is appropriate, which is a lot less than we think.) So often when challenges show up in our lives, cawing and pulling our attention to situations outside of ourselves, we forget who we truly are inside and our capacities to meet life fully and successfully. When this occurs we lose connection to our deep internal center of power and energy. This was an important reminder. However, what happened next carried an even more important message for me.
The crows circled and boldly moved in closer, intent upon having their way with the eagle. It continued to eat, looking up now and then. They got noisier and noisier and I could see that the sounds were starting to interfere with it’s peaceful lunch. About halfway through the meal, fish still in hand, the eagle lazily took flight heading deeper into the forest.
For me this spoke volumes about being the largest presence in a given situation and having the full capacity to “eat one’s lunch” and yet, choosing to walk away from the outside disturbances and find a more peaceful place to complete it. Just because I can hold space for something does not mean I automatically must do it. If something is draining you, slowly or quickly, pay attention. You do have a choice. Change it or change your circumstances.
So, if you find yourself, for whatever reason, in situations where the crows are heckling you needlessly, and you are putting up with it because you can, or because you know how to, think again. You could choose a more nourishing situation in a lot of cases. Are you doing so? Or, are you putting up with circumstances that you needn’t be stuck in out of habit, guilt, unconsciousness, fear of loss or some other reason? I would love to hear from you on this. Please comment below with your thoughts.