Thursday, February 19, 2009

Being the hawk

Nothing is random, at least as far as I can tell. Like the time I saw what looked like confetti floating through the air as I made my way through the Hannaford parking lot. As I followed the trail of white fluff back to its origin, I spotted a hawk plucking a seagull it had just swooped in on. I got as close as I could and then automatically reached for my camera. Something about the moment resonated. The hawk only let me watch for a short time before dragging the seagull to relative safety (see video below), stopping at the corner of the parking lot to finish what he'd started. What stirred in me at first as pity for the poor seagull quickly turned to admiration for the hawk, for doing what he had to do to survive -- even in a crowded supermarket parking lot, without the usual privacy of brush or woods to devour his prey. It was as unnatural as it was natural.
The next day I was heading to the bank, in the same shopping center. As I turned the corner I could see the remains of the seagull scattered across the mulch-covered dirt divider. I instinctively pulled off the road and parked the van, getting out for a closer look. As I examined the errant wing, the disembodied head, the inedible remnants of the sea bird, I realized that some days you are the hawk, and some days you are the seagull, as natural as it is unnatural, as random as it is necessary to survival.