Jasper the Hawk Pays a Visit
By Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D.
The day before Christmas Doreen and I were saying our morning prayers, a sacred ritual we do every morning before we get up and get going into the day, when I caught the flutter of wings out of the corner of my eye and watched as all of the birds that had been feeding outside our bedroom window scattered. It’s not unusual to see doves and a smattering of other birds on our deck and in the tree just outside, as we leave birdseed there just for that purpose. When they’re alarmed by something, they typically fly off, so I was curious as to what had caused this ruckus. I looked outside and perched on one of the branches a few feet away was a magnificent red-tailed hawk, solemnly gazing about, surveying his kingdom, supremely confident and poised, awaiting some instinctual signal for his next move.
I’d seen this particular hawk on a few occasions but it had been several months since his last visit. Since Hawk has been a consistently profound and accurate messenger, I asked Hawk Spirit the meaning of this visitation. What I heard in my head was, “Stay focused and don’t get distracted. Keep things in perspective.”
Straightforward and simple. Not cryptic or abstract at all. That’s the way I like my messages from Spirit—whoever from the spirit world is the messenger.
Given that I was working on a new book and the manuscript was due in just five short weeks, I appreciated this counsel from Hawk. It takes discipline to write, and I confess that it’s sometimes easier to enjoy computer games such as backgammon or solitaire. Not as productive, but they’re mindless and make excellent diversions. I’d highly recommend them if you ever want pointless distractions from accomplishing your purpose. Of course, they don’t contribute to getting any more chapters done in the book, and the deadline was quickly approaching. I knew this is what Hawk had in mind when he communicated his message to me.
So that morning I sat down at my computer and diligently began writing. That lasted about fifteen minutes, at which point I decided to check my e-mail. Yes, another diversion that could have easily waited. However when I clicked the button to access my e-mail account, nothing happened. The Internet wasn’t working! Suddenly I panicked, feeling as if this was a crisis of immense proportions. I called Grant, our webmaster and Internet computer fixer guy, but he was preoccupied for the next couple of hours babysitting his four month old infant, Gena, while his wife Donna was running some errands.
I decided to see what I could get done until Grant was freed up, so I spent the next two and a half hours on the phone with our Internet company and Apple computer, trying this and that, with no success, growing increasingly frustrated, doing a lot of muttering and clenching my fists and my gut. I had set a goal that morning after Hawk’s visit to get a specific amount of writing accomplished, and now this seemingly urgent matter had come up to delay my mission.
Just when I felt like throwing things, Grant appeared, and after a few minutes of performing his computer wizardry, the Internet and wireless were operating like they were supposed to. I was relieved and grateful. I immediately went online to check my e-mail. It was the day before Christmas, so there was hardly any e-mail at all, the only interesting one being from a guy in Nigeria that wanted me to help him out by transferring several million dollars into my account, for which I’d get a percentage.
I furrowed my brow, trying to remember why it had been so critical that I go online and check my e-mail in the first place, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember. Whatever had been my reason at the time, it was lost to what immediately had seemed to be a matter of grave importance—getting the Internet working again. It was then I once again heard Hawk’s message. “Stay focused and don’t get distracted. Keep things in perspective.”
It was like those old commercials where someone slaps themselves in the head and says, “I could have had a V8!”
I laughed out loud at my follies. I had completely forgotten to apply Hawk’s beautiful and purposeful message and created an entire drama around a very minor dilemma! Fixing the Internet could have easily waited, but instead became a convenient diversion from my writing. I tricked myself into thinking it was a crisis, subconsciously undermining my intention at that time to stay focused. Oh, well—joke’s on me. Maybe Coyote was around, working his medicine.
So I diligently continued writing my book each day. I dumped the Solitaire game, but Backgammon still had a bit of a hold on me. So on the morning of January 1, guess who appeared once again in the tree outside our window? You got it. The hawk. A gentle nudge from Hawk to stay focused. For Doreen, who was also on a deadline with a writing project, the message from this second visit was, “Be more aware of what I put out. Not out of fear for what will come back, but out of love for what I express and what I say, especially about others.” A good message for me to hear as well.
Okay: Stay focused, don’t get distracted, keep writing, and be aware of what I put out. Strong messages, highlighted by the second visitation from Hawk.
And as if that weren’t enough, just to make sure I got the message, about two weeks after the second visit from Hawk I’m writing away and suddenly I hear this loud commotion. As I look up I see a flurry of feathers, motion, and sound a few feet away between my desk and the closed sliding glass door that faces the back yard. I got up, walked around to the front of my desk and there was that same hawk we’d seen before, flailing away at the glass with his wings and talons, trying to make a quick exit. I spoke calmly to him, as it was obvious he was terrified. By then Doreen had come in and after a couple of minutes, I opened the sliding glass door and the hawk flew out.
As we looked around, we spotted a dove tucked away between the desk and the printer, who exited very quickly as soon as there was an opportunity. Putting this all together, we realized that the hawk had been after the dove, and both had flown in through the open doors at the front of the house, down the hallway and into my office. So Hawk in this third visit was a gigantic exclamation point for the previous messages. An added message that came to me from Hawk was to pursue the goal (of the book I was writing) with relentless focus and diligence, no matter what happens. Dove’s message was two-fold. First, that there will be a happy outcome, and second, to be as peaceful and calm throughout the process, in spite of any disturbances.
I’m happy to say that as of writing this, I’m right on target for the due date of the book I’m writing. It’s called, “Animal Spirit Guides.” Of course.