Unexpected and Beautiful

I’ve seen them more frequently in the last 10 years or so, and I feel a little bad about their shrinking habitat. That said, they don’t seem to be at a loss for sustenance, as I often see them diving down into the brush alongside the freeway, grabbing something [literally] to eat, then flying off into the wild blue yonder once again.

Tonight during my evening walk, I saw one. In fact, I saw two. I was told by a neighbor that there were three in the trees above me, but I never saw the third one. Three red-tailed hawks have taken to calling a peaceful, jacaranda-lined street home; I can’t say that I blame them. I walked about an eighth of a mile with my head looking skyward, watching two of them flit from tree to tree. They were beautiful. Further down the street, a man was coming out of his house to take his trash barrels to the curb and he called out to me, “Sometimes they dive-bomb people.”

I picked up my pace, aware that my ponytail knot probably looked a bit like a rodent on top of my head.

A few weeks back, I had a family of cockroaches scurry across my path. Last week, no fewer than five June bugs made their lazy way through the evening air and straight into my neck. There were a lot of bees, too. Tonight, hawks. It’s as though I don’t live in the largest city in Orange County. True, there are more rural parts, but mine isn’t one of them.

The unexpected and the beautiful can sometimes be the most dangerous. If not literally, then occasionally in the sense that we may forget to keep our guard up. We’re captivated by such beauty, drawn in and, before we know it, we might be wishing we’d never seen them or been familiar with their presence at all. Lots of lessons are learned when this happens, but sometimes we forget them and find ourselves right back where we started.

Tonight I am thankful for the reminder that the red-tailed hawk family provided, and their unintentional urging to keep my wits about me and my radar fully functioning. Beauty is to be admired, but those times when the unexpected catches us off guard are the times when beauty will be the last thing on our mind.

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