One morning last week, when we still had much snow on the ground, I was sitting in the living room with my daughter when she said she saw a hawk high up in a tree over the river. I looked out the window and saw him too, way up on a branch sitting perfectly framed close to the trunk of the tree. It was a great photo op. I hesitated though, because I was lounging in my red union suit -- yes, it has a flap in the back and everything -- and I knew that by the time I threw on some snow pants, a coat, a scarf, some gloves, boots, and a hat and got out the door with the camera the hawk would most likely be gone.A couple of minutes later he was still there and I realized I needed to seize the moment regardless of how likely it was it he might leave. I ran through the house, grabbed the camer and changed to a long lens then ran to my snow clothing that is piled on things around the back door. After bundling up and grabbing for the door knob I heard my daughter yell from the living room that the hawk had flown away. I told her I was going out anyway to see if I could find him anywhere. So out I traipsed on outside through the snow in search of the hawk. He was long gone, but I enjoyed searching for him and while I was doing so I found many other interesting sights and sounds. It was a gorgeous winter day with blue sky and golden sunlight, shadows showed up in crisp detail on smooth a smooth ground of heavy windblown snow. Blu was outside with me, poking his nose around in the snow and running here and there.When I was out front the cats became interested in both Blu and me. One by one they stretched and made their way off the porch down into the yard toward me. Yin sat up prairie dog style to look up over a snow trench and watch Blu's antics. She sat like that for the longest time, turning this way and that and watching things going on in the yard.All seven of Kat Kat's off spring from her two litters do the prairie dog thing. Kat Kat doesn't do it at all, but all of her "children" do. They look really funny sitting around that way, and I am happy to have caught Yin in that position with my camera.I made my way out back to the barn and the trees, the various shrubs and branches poking up through the snow. I was fascinated by the flowing shadows giving bare and seemingly dead raspberry canes and wild grasses glow with aesthetic grace.If you recall Rhoda, our antique tree peony, and how I have captured her many stages of growth. This is what she looks like in mid-winter amidst a deep, hard snow.This experience with the hawk taught me yet again one of the most important lessons I have learned in life: seize the moment. The hawk landed on that branch and stayed there long enough to get my attention. He beckoned me outdoors with my camera, promising a wonderful photo op once I got myself in gear.He didn't promise I would catch him with my lens, but he did promise beauty and interest. I answered his call, albeit somewhat hesitantly, and was rewarded with rich opportunities that I would not have had otherwise.Isn't life like this. Something pulls you onward and you move. The thing you thought you were reaching for eludes you, poof it's gone. At that moment you can sit there and be disappointed and believe you missed your opportunity. Or, you can keep going and keep looking. Perhaps your opportunity is yet to be discovered and the first thing you reached for was just something to get you moving and alert.Don't give up at that point, move and act and look and see. Something is most certainly there but you have to make yourself available.That's the trick, making yourself available in life.There is a guy who attends our church and he had a powerful feeling that he should buy a little cafe near his home out on the shores of Lake Ontario. He tried to buy the little place last year but it didn't work out. For some reason he kept reaching for it, and now he found some other people to buy it and they want him and his wife to run it. Now, this guy has a really "good" job right now working at a fairly new hydroponics plant nearby. He is a plant manager there, and in this economy it is a positive thing to have a good secure job. Unfortunately, the guy he works for is a jerk of some kind who works his people into the ground in order to keep his own profit high. Our friend has had to miss out on many of life's beautiful moments working long, arduous hours at the plant sometimes seven days a week.His wife quit her job a few months back -- I don't know why. The plan until recently was that he would keep his unhappy job and she would manage the cafe. A week ago he announced at church that he has decided to retire from his job this summer and will work full time with his wife at the cafe.
Side Bar: For my knitting readers, be sure to see this week's knitting progress and news of upcoming pattern releases at The Knitting Blog. Also, I have added a few new needle felted items to Firefly's Studio.
It sounds like a bad idea, doesn't it? He has a job, it is a pretty sure thing. And he's leaving it to run a cafe with his wife; doesn't he know how risky the restaurant business is and isn't he painfully aware as we all are about the poor economy we are all grinding our way through right now?But, here's the thing. He is miserable in his job, and he works for someone who he doesn't like or respect. He is giving up hours and hours of his life every day and week to do a job he doesn't enjoy and help a man who doesn't seem to have regard for his fellow man to become more profitable.Our friend said it this way, he said that he knows God has some kind of plans for him and he needs to make himself available. His current job keeps him so busy for so many hours of so many weeks throughout the year that if he stays in that job, regardless of the security of it, he will not be available for something that might be more important and more worthwhile. So, he is taking what seems like a big risk and making himself available. I have a very good feeling that things are going to turn out very fine for him and his wife, in spite of all "evidence" to the contrary, because he is making himself available.That is the key: making yourself available. That doesn't mean everyone should fly off the handle and quit their jobs. That's what it meant for our friend, but that isn't what it would mean for someone else.It just means that when a hawk comes calling ... whoever or whatever the hawk is, make yourself available and see what turns up. Get out there and be involved in your life in refreshing and surprising ways. Bundle up and get out into the world and if the first thing you are reaching for eludes you don't get discouraged. Chances are, something even better is just up ahead or around a corner. I wish you well,