Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bald Eagle Guide

Bald eagles and I, we have a very peculiar relationship. It seems, sometimes, like I know where they are going to be on certain days, or I spot them flying suddenly, and most times I spot them with ease. It can be near the lake or in town near the creek or driving down the road, unexpectedly, I find them – or they find me?

Whatever it is, I am amazed with them, every time I see one, or one sees me ... I'm not too sure of the order.

It is like I am seeing them for the very first time, all over again.

We also have a long history, Bald eagles and I. It started about 11 years ago when a very special Native American friend passed away and a group of us at the funeral had an encounter with one of the most spectacular eagles we had ever seen.

I have never seen another like him since, and I have seen a lot of Bald eagles.

The Native America’s believe in Spirit guides, and one of the most prestigious is the Bald eagle. Being characterized as a creature of nobility and honor – and learning that they only select those who are honest and noble in action and thought, I understood why this amazing Bald eagle was in our presence.

There was no denying that the manifestation of this awesome bird was a Spiritual one – no matter what religion or belief one may have had; It was on the edge of the Supernatural.

A Funeral for a Native American last three days, with their body being viewed at their home for that amount of time and then on the day of their burial they are taken to their final resting place.

My friend would be laid to rest in his family cemetery along with all those who had gone before him; The coffin was placed in its designated spot, and family stood close together along with other relatives and friend, and the service was commenced, in Seneca, in ceremonial fashion.

No funeral is a happy occasion, and this man, this patriarch who loved his family and cared so deeply for so many, and who believed in honor and justice and truth; created a loss indescribable with his passing; a loss different, deep, and as individual as all of us who loved him.

To leave that day was to lay to rest the Cornerstone of a great family, and the permanence of his physical presence being gone was just beginning to sink in.

It was hard to break away when it was over.

We all wanted to stay as long as we could. People lingered for some time afterward, talking, reminiscing and just spending time together.

As we began to trickle slowly out of the cemetery toward the parking lot, suddenly, out of nowhere a majestic Bald eagle, like no one there had ever seen before, landed and perched in the tulip tree right above us. He was literally 25 feet away from us, sitting in that tree, looking at all of us; we could see him blink his eye he was so close.

The Bald eagle on that day ... perched and looked exactly like this!

My young niece screamed when she saw the eagle, a scream so piercing it sounded just like the eagle's call, and the sound went through all of us. It was like we were all struck dumb, and when everyone finally noticed him, we were all speechless. We just stared and pointed at this magnificent bird who had come to guide our friend to his new world – it was surreal. We just stared at that eagle ... at his presence and his beauty.

No one knows how long he perched there in that tree watching us. Five minutes, but probably less ... it seemed much longer than it actually was.

What he looked like as he began to fly away.

And then suddenly, he flapped his wings a bit, which had to have been 6 feet in length from tip to tip, cocked his head and with one powerful downward swoop, he turned his head and he flew, in slow motion it seemed, to a height where he could still see us clearly and we clearly could see him.

He circled and watched us for about ten more minutes.

He would glide and dive, ascend and descend, all the while keeping watch. He was beauty and power and grace all wrapped into this bird of such enormous size. Even in flight, we could not stop watching him. He was mesmerizing.

Right before he flew to a height where he would seem to vanish, a small Red-Tailed hawk joined him, and it followed him around as he circled, keeping up quite well, like it was an invited guest. Eagles and hawks don’t usually get along too well, but oddly enough, these two seemed content.

A few years prior my friends daughter had died too, and it was said that this little hawk was her – she was finally with her dad again, where they could fly and be free.

(All of this still makes my me cry).

Who is to say the hawk wasn't her?

They finally stopped circling and departed, hawk behind eagle, slowing gliding up as far as the hawk could go and then out of sight, suddenly vanishing into thin air.

We stood there, speechless, my cousin and I, and everyone else, not believing what we’d seen. I know for sure that I will never - ever forget it. It was one of those things that is forever etched in you memory.

I can’t say I don’t believe in the Bald eagle Spirit guide – who am I to say? I am not Native American, and I do have my own beliefs – but I have many friends who are Native American, and they were satisfied, and not at all as surprised as I was that eagle showed up. It was agreed it was a very special sign.

It was Spiritual to them and was a symbol of great meaning, so who am I to argue with that?

I know for me it was hands-down my most amazing experience of seeing a Bald eagle, and ever since then I see them more than I ever thought possible.
It seems that ever sense that day I am more sensitive to their presence - I even feel connected to them, oddly enough.

They fly so high above everything - they can see a fish from a mile, into deep water, and catch it every time. That is just one of their many skills. They can also fly up to 10,000 feet in the air and up to 35 miles per hour is steady flight ... all I can say is WOW, what a bird.

I can just imagine his perspective of the crowd of people below who had gathered to watch him fly? If only I could have been a passenger on his wing. I bet he wondered what all the fuss was about.

God even speaks of eagles, encouraging strength like eagles wings if we wait on him. In Isaiah 40:32 it is written;

32 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

After watching the eagle exit that day I must confess, their strength is unmatched by any other bird I have seen take flight before that day, or since. 

Admittedly, there is something powerful and good and spiritual about an eagle - no matter what you believe in. I know that seeing one stirs the soul to excitement, like finding a rare jewel in the sky; they are a wonder to behold and the sight of one lifts a person's soul immediately.

I could not have asked for a more special ending to a long and mournful week for my family ... it seemed the eagle flew away with my friend in tow, taking all of our sadness and tears with him.

The feeling we were left with was pure amazement, at least for me it was amazing; I can't speak for everyone else.

Now I always have my eyes to the sky, watching for eagles, they can be hard to sight sometimes. One never knows when one of these beautiful birds will be out flying, waiting to be seen, they are beautiful to behold.

I hope one day everyone get a chance to see one of these magnificent birds.  And when you do, I promise it will a something you will want to share, and you will cherish that moment for a very long time.