Tracy, Social Justice Research

Archive for November, 2018|Monthly archive page

Lesson of the eagle feather.

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2018 at 1:43 am

Last year I decided, for no real reason, that I wanted an eagle feather. I don’t know where the desire came from, it just suddenly took hold of my creative mind that I wanted an eagle feather. For about 6 weeks, 3 times a week, I scanned the waters from the canoe between Maple Bay and Salt Spring and up the narrows, and while I saw plenty of feathers, usually white, fluffy seagull feathers, I never found an eagle feather.

One day, after bringing the canoe back to Maple Bay, I decided to stay and enjoy the beach. I wandered up and down the water line, and found, right next to the boat ramp where we’d launched the canoe, a little hand-made boat, made of sticks,  and a feather for a sail. It was an intriguing little find; upon examining it, my friend remarked that the sail was probably an eagle feather and pointed out that the counter-balance was assured by a perfectly wedged stone. It was an impressive work, and I was deeply touched that someone had made this perfect little boat and left it there, so obviously, to be found, a gift for anyone who wanted it.

We launched the boat out to sea from the ramp at Maple Bay. We watched it until it couldn’t be seen any more; presumably it sailed on its own little journey, maybe landing at a new shore for someone else to find. Or not.

It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized I’d found the eagle feather I was seeking. I didn’t recognize the feather when I saw it-my friend had to tell me, and it didn’t come in the way I expected it, floating out of the sky and onto the sea, waiting for my eyes and hands to grasp it in a solitary exchange between the universe and myself.

I stopped looking for eagle feathers after that. There arose in me a sense of humility and joy; humility that I was granted a gift before I was ready to receive it, and joy that I was allowed to learn the lesson in private.  That is the benevolence of the Creator.

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