When I was hiking in Crane Canyon the other day, and the red-shouldered hawk flew towards me and right over my head, I wanted so badly to see her again and not miss the opportunity of taking a close-up photo.
I never did see her again. I did spend a fair amount of time at the park looking and waiting for her.
As I walked on the winding path that reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, thunderbolts of sunshine ignited the oaks, their trunks and branches casting the light over the green grass reaching up from the recent rains. The turkey vultures spread their wings across the sky circling overhead.
I ignored the vultures, knowing in my heart, they are one of Scott's favorites if not his favorite bird and one of my own as well. I kept thinking "no one cares about vultures, no one sees their beauty like we do, I need the photo of the hawk for my blog, now that is something special and amazing, that people will appreciate and like".
Along the trail, the vultures followed me from up above, stretching their blood red heads looking down at me. I looked up smiling "come on you guys, I know you are beautiful, and Scott is sending you to me, but I really want the hawk".
As I turned the bend in the trail, the vultures landed on the oak trees, picture perfect, posing for me like characters out of a scary Victorian Ghost Novel. I found a bench and sat down, trying to let go of my need to see a hawk. My mind filled with images of mountain lions, their blond fur glistening in the morning light, I thought to myself, "oh how perfect, that would be for the blog, I would be a true wild animal whisperer with that photo." Behind me, the vultures rustled in the trees. I turned around to look at them, they looked back ready for their photo. I shook my head at them, and they flew off.
After awhile, giving up on any fascinating animals making an appearance, I got up from my bench, and continued on the trail, looking in every bush and in every tree for an exciting animal to take a photo of. I looked up into the white clouds, into a patch of blue sky. There they were. The three vultures circling above me. Within minutes, all three landed in another oak tree like actors on the set of the Headless Horseman ready for their cue. I thought to myself, "no...I write about grief, death, and the afterlife, people will think I am even stranger taking photos of you guys."
Finally, I surrendered.
I stopped pushing away the messenger. I spent several minutes taking their photos and thanked the trinity of vultures for their persistence. I thanked Scott for sending the hawk and our favorite mystical not appreciated vultures to me. I thanked my Angels and Guides for not giving up on me when I push away the messages because it is not the message I Want or am Looking for.
I remember after Scott transitioned, people saying to me that they don't like to see anything reminding them of their lost loved one, it's too painful, they push away memories, they push away wounds that need healing and forgiveness, they ignore the orange & black butterfly floating around them while they are lost in their sorrow, they hide under the covers away from the light trying to touch them to help ease their pain, they shut out the world and their eyes to the messenger and messages trying to reach them wishing for the past instead of embracing what is here, now.
I know that pain, the carving out from grief. I also know the love that is waiting beyond it.
I am thankful my vultures didn't give up on me. Now, when I look at my photos of my vultures, I smile and laugh. I remember all of our walks, drives, and hikes when Scott pointed out the big black birds with their washed out looking ruby colored heads saying to me "look our friends are here".
I am learning everyday to not push away the messages or the messenger that brings me mystery, light, and an infinite love that never stops giving as long as I am open to receiving it.
My friends, the Turkey Vultures