If you ever lose heart and the earth seems as distant as stars fading into the noise of your busy mind, know this. That a tiny island exists in the blue hands of the ocean. That a tree grows upright into the salted clouds. That two eagles love each other enough to spend their lives greeting the morning sun together. That two eaglets stand in their nest, gazing at the heavens. Looking down to the forever ground. They eat and sleep and flap their wings. And one day in July, one by one, they will jump into the air. They will know the difference between existing and what is beyond. They will hold onto nothing. The hurricane will come, courage catching their pinions on fire, as they mount the wind, climbing ladders into realms of the invisible.

--T.L. Stokes

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Visitor

(photo by David Hancock, Hancock Foundation, www,hancockfoundation.org)


I had a vision.

Down the staircase was a wood door.
Down more stairs, through the hallway
to the right in shadow was a stone room.
Inside a circle of moon-colored
stones, a great fire burned.
Across the fire sat an old medicine woman
with raven eyes, feathers cascading down
her hair. Deep lines etched into her face
like old stories.

She didn't speak but her presence said everything.
All around the circle we gathered. Then off to my left
on a wooden perch coming out from the stone wall,
sat a young eaglet. Ratty black and gray coat of down
and new pinions. White fluff headdress coming down
to her eyes. Curved beak like a sloping moon
dipped in chocolate.

We knew her name in an instant. Flyer,
come to join us. She seemed to almost smile
when I glanced at her, then hopped off
and waddled over. She put her face close to
mine and nuzzled in. I petted her, marveling at the
closeness and gift of her attention. All the people
around the fire held hands then, and
I don't know what we said or sang or chanted.
I don't know what all of this meant. I don't know
who the medicine woman was or how long we
sat at the fire.

What I do know is this: that an eaglet had joined us,
that we linked hands to celebrate, the black knife
of fear was gone. In the space left empty of fear filled
instead with red and orange flame, with the cool stones,
with warm wise hands, with the face of the medicine
woman silent and present. With the overflowing
constant warm affinity for all things we call love.

And Flyer, free from all hindrance was there. Thanking
us, thanking you, silently speaking the image and thoughts
of her heart, her young, innocent mind, her ancestry,
her future. And more than that in the moment of our love
and sacrifice, came the opening possibility of all things.
I wanted to stay in that room with the fire for a long time,
I wanted to sing and chant and be silent,

I wanted to look into Flyer's eyes and read about forever.

dedicated to all those who helped plan,
support, and execute the successful rescue of Flyer,
the young eaglet who was freed from fishing line
in her Sidney B.C. nest.

C2011 T.L.Stokes (all rights reserved)

Special Thanks to:

Epicure Selections, Sylvie, Derek Rathwell of Drainscope (provider of first mats), Victoria Drain, (provider of additional mats), the crews who kept transferring the mats, the owner of the Pennsylvania mat manufacturing company, Laurie Broughton of L.B. Crane, Lyal, his operator, WildArc, rescue-rehab center in Victoria, Jeff Krieger of Alternative Wildlife Solutions, David Hancock, the Sidney support team, Mindy, Dave Saunders the Mayor of Colwood, Karen, Richard, and all the unsung heros who contributed and supported Flyer's rescue.

(list compiled from the article
by David Hancock: The Sidney Eaglet Rescue - May 19th

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