In awe of eagle’s appearance

Published 1:25 am Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The ducks floated peacefully along in a ragged line. I watched from my deck thinking what a calm scene it was. Suddenly, they lifted in unison and flew out of sight.

I heard their wings hitting the water as they took off and I turned to watch them flying across the blue sky. As they disappeared, a flash of white caught my eye and I squinted to see what was moving into view.

Soaring above the lake then turning into the canal was a bird flying the fastest I’d ever seen a bird fly. As it came closer, I saw a white head, a huge span of wings and brilliant white tail feathers.

“What the heck?” I said, as the creature dove toward the water. “Is that what I think it is?”

It brushed the surface and flew in a large arc up toward the tops of the pine trees on the other side of the water. Little birds along the bank made squawking, crying sounds and flew deeper into the woods.

“That is what I think it is,” I whispered.

I watched as it swooped between the water and the trees, raced down the canal, made a circle and flew back. The great bird repeated this pattern several times before landing on a limb on my side of the water.

“I need to get a picture,” I said to the cat beside me.

Returning with my camera, I slipped toward the lake. The bird was flying its loop-the-loops as I raised my camera. Perhaps sensing my presence, it made one final circle and then with incredible speed flew down the canal and was gone before I could get one picture.

For a moment, I stood hoping it would reappear, but I knew it was gone when the ducks returned. Wanting to be sure what I’d seen, I went inside and typed words into a search engine. What popped up was a picture of the bird and under the picture were the words, “Bald Eagle.”

“Yep, that‘s it,” I said.

Not content with pictures and facts, I delved into the spiritual meaning of eagles because references to this bird appear in many traditions and religions. For example, in Native American culture, they believe animals are the carriers of messages from the Great Spirit. They understand all things have the same component as their building block — the atom, and that the creative force or Great Spirit powers those atoms. Therefore, we are connected and communicate through that common building block.

Since I live where Indians once lived, I feel a connection with that culture and I wanted to know about the bald eagle and its message. This is what I read in answer to the question, what is the spiritual meaning of seeing a bald eagle?

“The eagle is the chief over all the winged creatures. Eagle conveys the powers and messages of the spirit; it is man’s connection to the divine because it flies higher than any other bird. The eagle brings the message of renewed life because it is associated with the east winds – the direction of spring, dawn and rebirth.

“Eagle shows you how to look above so you are able to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the Shadow as much as the Light. You are being asked to give yourself permission to be free in order to reach the joy that your heart longs for.”

I smiled as I read. Whether that bald eagle carried the message or was the inspiration that lead me to the message, I felt a connection to it. And the older, and hopefully wiser I get, I’m learning to trust my intuition more. Trusting that if I am willing to open my mind and listen from my heart, the divine speaks in many ways, even in the form of a bald eagle soaring into sight on a sunny March afternoon.