Like A Hawk

October 14, 2008
I run, hard and fast, letting my feet carry me into the incredible mountain forest. I need to get away from here; that’s the only way I can truly move on. Throw my past behind me. Build a new future. I lift my eyes off of the ground, looking at the scars covering my arms. Each one represented a different memory, a different time when I was in pain and chose the wrong way to deal. How I came out of this one alive is beyond me. Distracted, my feet lost their balance, hitting a root in the ground. I felt something strike my head, and the world around me fell into the darkness.

I blinked, opening my eyes. I rolled over, and then moaned. My head screamed at me; I brought my arm up to cradle it, coaxing it to stop pounding. Regardless of whether my head hurt or not, I didn’t want to stand. Not yet. I felt weak, so weak. So incredibly weak, I wondered how I had ever been able to be strong. As I lay there, contemplating this, I heard what sounded like the ruffling of feathers. All of a sudden, I was lifted off of the ground, though not by my own legs. Something had yanked me up off the forest floor, and then set me gently onto my feet. I squinted up into the early-morning sunlight. I saw what appeared to be a bird of some sort, though not one that I completely recognized. It had the many features of a hawk, but it was much too big. It must have been what pulled me up, proving my previous thoughts incorrect at the same time. It glared at me with piercing eyes, then turned its head and started to fly slowly away. I followed it to a small stream, and I watched as it swooped low over the water, bringing something up with its talons. Something fell in front of me; I looked down at the wiggling fish and realized just how hungry I had been. I picked it up and wandered around, looking for everything it took to prepare it, then let my stomach relax as it finally felt full. Meanwhile, the great bird had stayed with me, keeping me sane, though I’m not completely sure as to how. I looked up at it now; it cocked its head at me. It released itself of its perch, and then flew off somewhere far away. I immediately felt myself hit the ground; strange, I had been standing easily on my legs just moments ago. Now, I saw no way I would get my sore feet to do what they were intended to do. Everything ached; a familiar pain flowed through my body. I started crying as I recognized what it was. I suddenly felt lonely, and as a result, I also felt terror grip me. I didn’t want to be here, didn’t want to depend solely on myself. I pulled a familiar item out of my pocket. It was one that had become my best friend over the years. Something that helped me deal with this emptiness I now felt. I took the blade and held it up against my hostage arm. A familiar call sounded above me; peace flooded thorough me as I realized the bird had returned. I dropped whatever it was I had been holding; the river coming from my eyes stopped as I watched the great hawk in wonder. Of course I had needed something. I couldn’t do this all alone; I should have known such before. Seeing that amazing creature before me, I realized it had been with me all along, even in my childhood. I merely neglected to allow it to take hold; instead, I had allowed myself to give in to the weakness that I had become accustomed to. It was here, when I was forced to pull myself away from me that I discovered that I could be strong. Strength came in such a beautiful form. I closed my eyes as I felt the new familiarity of being lifted off of the ground again. Yes. For the first time in a long time, I felt right. I felt me. It wasn’t the bird that had pulled me up; in reality, it was my own ability. I could do this. I could move on. I could be strong. Like a hawk.

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