I Wake to Fish Eagles Screaming ~
Soon after my arrival in the bush, I woke to the sound of Fish Eagles screaming. I threw off the covers, threw open the patio doors, and carefully stepped out, looking to see if perhaps I could catch a glimpse of their flight. No such luck, as they had not yet soared above the treeline.
Most likely breakfasting at the river, I thought. It flows near enough that the local traffic of all sorts of furred and feathered makes its way past throughout the day.
“Thank you for allowing me to hear you at the start of my day” I sent off in the general direction of the cries. I somehow knew they were after my attention, but it was a bit early for a human wanderer to safely make for the river’s edge.
“Come with us!” the imperious command surprised me.
“Well, I…” thinking of whether it was truly light enough for hippo and large cat-ses to be full fed and sleepy, I stood, confused, for a moment. “I’d have to get dressed, you’d be off by then…”
I could hear the exasperation in their laughter. “Come. With. Us.”
“Oh, you mean…” Silly, silly, silly, I told myself, as I sat still to inwardly follow them in flight.
I knew better than to look for them in the sky. As I found them through their vision trail, my awareness rose higher and higher above the bush canopy toward the sacred mountain. My mind supplied a scene from Out of Africa, including the line spoken by Meryl Streep, when she is taken flying for the first time…the vision of the world through God’s eye.
Spiraling gently upward, their flight became mine, until we found the stars. Here, I was left to drift, bathed in wonder. Home.
Three months ago, while visiting nearby Kruger National Park, a friend and I watched as two fish eagles streamed across the sky like the Blue Angels, landing precisley at the shoreline of a nearby lake that serves as watering hole for the wandering herds. It was she who taught me to listen for their particular cry. On that day, I wasn’t certain whether these truly were white-legged fish eagles, nor why the information seemed important.
As if in answer to my query, one of the pair goose-stepped along the shore, lifting each leg stiffly out in front of him, white feathers ruffling in the breeze. Identity established. Understood. Then, they turned to their shared fishing expedition, leaving me to watch in wonder.
A long lover of raptors of every kind, I wondered why this kind, on this trip, this day? I heard no answers and was left with my musings, and the beginnings of a post entitled “Fish Eagles and Why it Mattered” that sat, silently waiting it seems, for today.
Every morning I wake to the screes and calls of Fish Eagles. Last night I opened the yoga book next to the bed to a random page and its photos and example were… a white headed Sea Eagle. Legs extended forward, wings outspread, the eagle uses the torque of its appendages to ride the air currents and flow with the pull of gravity. This allows its body to maximize the descent, in power and grace. The dual movement, in two seemingly opposite directions, is caused by the force of gravity, which pulls us toward the centre of the earth.
Vanda Scaravelli writes that our arms must become light, light like wings, and can only be so when our feet are fully grounded into the earth, assisted by gravity. She uses the example of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man, limbs extended into the quadrants of reality, citing that Da Vinci studied the human body extensively, marveling at its capabilities for grounding consciousness.
My new friends, the fish eagles, quite agree. As their vision lifted me higher and higher, I saw through the portals, the so-called ‘soul holes’, through which shamans have perceived other realities for as long as there have been realities, and perceivers thereof.
The northernmost of these lies in the Cygnus constellation, source of the Bird Tribe legends. With that portal, I am familiar. Less familiar with the southern openings, I allowed my mind to supply images of the southern cross and the condor… for moments only.
“Vision has no direction” my guides informed me. “No up nor down, north nor south… The currents of flow are the currents of flow. Ride the currents!”
The element of the fish eagle is water, a proclivity I share. Though I am loving it here, in the high and dry, the river today, gushing through its well worn stone basin, was a welcome sight. My skin thirsted for its cooling embrace.
Back in the quiet of my little rondavel, I wondered over that morning flight. The stars remain with me. The portals beckon. There are openings into light wherever we might find ourselves, if we reach for centre, and allow the rising currents to lift us free.
The winged ones thank you for listening to their whispers on the wind.
Flow and Take Flight! You are Free!