Eagle Initiation
Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

Leaving behind a gravity-defying lake
We drive over wild-flower covered coastline pasture
Until we see an eagle
Caught in barbed wire
Struggling for life

I am so well trained
To ignore the pain of others
I would have driven on

Yet I’m with a family
That didn’t get my childhood training
They didn’t have to walk through villages
Of hungry children with flies on their eyes
They don’t ignore the pain of others
As I often choose to do

We pull over and watch the eagle thrash in terror
Her wings hitting the barbs of metal

I think of the starfish story
Where a boy stands on a beach 
Littered with washed out starfish
He throws one starfish after another back into the water
A man watching the boy finally asks:
“Why waste your time? You can’t make a difference. 
There are too many of them.”
The boy looks down at the starfish in his fingers
As he tosses it out to sea
He says:
“Well, to this one, I can make a difference.”

I often think of that story
As I live my life
Aware that our planet is dying
Aware that bodies and souls are suffering
And what do I do?
How am I choosing to alleviate
Pains of our planet?

I sit in the backseat of a car
With two beautiful little girls and their Mama
Watching their Papa approach
Telons and beak of
A wild injured eagle

I sit in the car as a woman
I sit in the car as a girl
I sit in the car as a shamanic priestess
I breathe in the moment
From which place within myself
Do I act?

“Remain in the car,” I hear
I look up into the blue sky
Call into the directions
Ask for guidance
And sit quietly

With his intense blue eyes and endless knowledge
Papa is perfectly trained for his initiation
Although he has not yet
Freed a wild rapture 

He faces the eagle alone
Evaluates how she is intertwined
Another couple joins him
An assertive local surfer and his girlfriend
Working together
They cover the eagle’s head
Which calms her immediately

I check in with eagle
“I choose to be here
It is an honor for me to be here.” 
Are her first words
I want to know more
“I can’t explain more now
Need to focus here
Please hold me.”
She says

I hold my fingers apart
Until I feel energy flow
Almost feel feathers
I sit holding eagle energy
In a backseat of a car

Smell of an egg fart flows around the car
We giggle breaking drama
Needed release

Before us plays out a scene
Of human egos locked
Papa, surfer, and a mild-mannered park ranger
Several choices of what can be done
Wait for a more trained ranger
Who will arrive soon
With more tools
Or to try to untangle
Feathers and talons off barb wire

Eagle has calmed
Her head covered with a jacket
I feel her between my fingertips
But don’t speak to her 

I focus on my breath
I breath smoothly

My mind wanders to other animals
Suffering in this very moment
Oil-covered birds
Hungry human orphans
Dogs lying injured by the side of the road
As my heart opens to the images
I want to scream, to sob, to explode in rage
What kinds of world are we allowing to exist?
As we turn our heads and 
Focus on what doesn’t matter?

We are all so well trained within this dream
We are all so quickly bruised when we begin to care
So we stop caring
And focus on the petty

I imagine what it would feel like
Next time I hike my favorite beautiful trail
To have lying along the trail
5000 of the starving children who would die that day?
Could I hike my beautiful trail
Walking past all those innocent dying children?
Could I enjoy my hike
Knowing that they are dying around me?

What about if they were dogs?
Could I walk past 5000 starving dogs
And do nothing?

Probably yes

That’s what I’ve been trained to do
That’s what we’ve all been trained to do
We know they’re out there
In much higher numbers
Yet what to do?

Here’s what I propose
None of us can easily at this moment
Reach out to the 5000 starving children
Yet almost every person around us
Is starving for an authentic soul connection

What if each one of us
Moved through our daily days
Knowing that we’re One
And caring for each soul with whom we interact
As if s/he were part of our family?

What if we greeted each person
As if s/he were a loved one returning from a trip abroad?
Whenever I lose hope in this world
A quick visit to the international terminal at an airport
And all the love pouring in every direction
Reminds me that we are capable of loving
Even if it is for a short time
Everything takes practice
Love does too

We could practice with every being
We could practice loving with every dog
We could practice loving with every child
We could practice love with every flower
What kind of world would this be
If we were all practicing?

I watch the hawk rise up into her power
Raising her feathers and opening her beak
In a silent cry
Almost freed

She stands in her wild fierceness
Moments later
I watch her fly away
Over wildflowers
Towards the ocean
Able to practice 
Because someone stopped to take the time
To practice.

******************************WE ARE ALL STARS***************************

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Printed version available upon request.
All feedback and comments are welcome.  Please send to blissmeander at gmail.com