There is a quiet place hidden behind the Gulf Island ferry terminal cafe where I play the tai chi 108 form while I wait for the ferry to arrive to take me home. It was just after the snowstorm so I wearing a knee length black puffy parka, but no hat. It was especially calm in the early morning as I slowly moved through the form. I am as involved in exploring each movement and transition (is there a distinction?) as I am watching the day begin over the water. I’m taking it all in. Sea gulls glide by over head on their important business, sparrows call and hop around in the bushes, and cormorants gather on the terminal pilings, all to the constant rhythm of waves. But here’s the thing, on enough occasions to inspire me to even write about this, something unusual has been happening.
A short while into the form, I notice a big beautiful eagle landing and perching on the ferry dock pylon, not too close but not too far either. I am struck by its powerful presence in it’s silence. I always think that it might have come to see what this human is doing as I move slowly, rocking forward and back, opening and closing. It’s got to be different behavior then the usual human fare. I know my tai chi has stopped many a deer in their tracks and I get the ‘stare’ as if they are saying “What the dickens is she doing?!” The eagle and I watch each other for a long time. I’m coming up to Fair Maiden Works the Shuttles and this eagle hasn’t flown away. The third Wave Hands like Clouds and the eagle is still there. When I finish the form and step out of my practice I was wishing I hadn’t left my camera in the car. I really wanted to photograph this eagle since, in my mind anyway, we had shared a moment together. I was all Wow about it. But … I was also aware that this eagle more than likely has an early morning routine that has nothing to do with me and that I have a tendency to want things to connect and have meaning. I believe they do but probably not always on my terms. Life is full of wild … wilderness.
I raised my gathered hands in a hard and soft tai chi salute to thank that eagle and time/space and left my special area to go to the other side where I could still see the eagle. It hadn’t left when I did ….. (oh the ego). But for some reason I couldn’t let go of the connection I felt and then … it dawned on me …..
and it myself laugh
In your mind’s eye, imagine this (remember I left my camera in the car). Me, standing near the railing by the water in my long puffy black parka and my white white hair, watching the eagle. Now look at the eagle. It’s long dark body, and white white head. Yes! I probably was looking like a very large eagle! HA! It was like I had dressed up in an eagle costume! So maybe that regal eagle was thinking …’What the….?! Humans never cease to amaze, and what’s with that odd moving all around going nowhere too!’
or maybe it was intrigued
but I certainly was
~ and I felt related ~