March 7, 2011

… while the mother-eagle
Hunts her same hills, crying the same
beautiful and lonely cry and is never
tired; dreams the same dreams,
And hears at night the rock-slides rattle
and thunder in the throats of these
living mountains.

Robinson Jeffers, The Beaks of Eagles

Silhouetted against the background of a forested Roaring Beach hill, this wedged tail eagle with its wing span exceeding nine feet (2.9m) makes light work of traveling the many miles between its nest and the hill top behind my house.

In alchemy, the eagle is portrayed as the ascension of the spirit from the prima materia, a way of describing how, when understanding separates from the chaos of emotion, it takes wing and can easily disappear into the ether. The alchemists believed that ascent must be answered by its opposite, which means that our loftiest illuminations must descend into integrated embodiment and be applied.

The Book of Symbols, Taschen

As my knees progressively wear out and the freedom associated with good mobility lessens, I can only stand and marvel with increasing envy this bird’s ability to transcend distance so easily and so elegantly.

Just possibly, my “grounding” allows for a slow seep of wisdom into my daily aspirations.

The opportunity here is to greet each day with a smile even while limping through it.

Another phrase I like is: “To walk our lament with praise”.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy March 10, 2011 at 8:10 am

Ah Peter, Your eagle is beautiful and as my knees also cause me increasing grief I imagined his seemingly effortless flight … its similar here as i watch the kelp and pacific gulls circle and glide on currents of breeze. Yes …. perhaps, some wisdom seeps downwards, I hope so but do not know but there are reasons to greet each day with a smile and to, in the words of that fabulous last line, “walk each day with praise.” Thank you for your thoughts and your photography once again.

John Regan March 10, 2011 at 8:10 am

I stood and watched two sea eagles soaring over the beach near Swansea and reflected only walk to have a swim. The ease and joy of flight they displayed while I huffed and puffed my way along to the deserted beach so I could swim as I wanted to; away from full view of the other residents. The freedom of the two birds and the beauty of the sky there, left me feeling free and at peace.

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