New Neighbors – Kerry – 8/03/15

11825641_10204686069650938_2478517846526146614_nNew Neighbors- Kerry E.B Black

August 3, 2015

Dear Kerry,

Four hawks moved into our yard this summer. They whistled and shrieked and made themselves comfortable.

When I first moved here thirteen years ago, red tails nested in the corner maple tree. My girls and I watched their antics with interest. About six years ago, they moved on, abandoning their giant nest to the ravages of weather and invaders. No “see you later.” No “Thanks for the time.” The hawks were just gone.

With their departure, squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits returned to frolic in our yard, multiplying. The rodents grew bold, including a fluffy-tailed squirrel tapping on our dining area window to solicit treats.

The renewed abundance of prey attracted the four hawks this summer. They came with June’s rains and perched upon my husband’s car and the deck rail as though they owned the place. I didn’t see a nest, so I suspected they would move on when the rodent population again falls.

I watched the raptors soar with warm wind currents and reflected on how life is like that flight. It circles.

Recently, a high school friend contacted me through a social media outlet. We met for lunch to reminisce. Since I’d not seen her for well over a decade, I worried. As kids, she meant the world to me, and then one day, she stopped taking my calls and avoided me in the hallways. It hurt. I cried. I grew angry. I moved on. While enjoying soup, she apologized. “I always felt bad about how our friendship ended.”

I never expected such words. I stammered a reply. We embraced and parted ways.

Back then, my friend had evolved. Her interests diverged from my own, while I continued along the same comfortable path. To her, boys and drinking replaced our shared interests. I’d not changed much since childhood, remaining naïve and silly and stagnant. Boys to me remained elusive desires or back-yard buddies. Drink held no appeal to me. My “goody two shoes” approach to life stifled adventurous spirits like my friend.

In a way, I could liken my high school self to my present-day back yard. When the food supply died off six years ago, the hawks moved on. When my friend’s desire for other experiences outstripped her perception of my willingness to participate in them, she moved on. No lasting harm – not really. Wildlife repopulated the back yard and my friend and I lived our lives to the best of our abilities. I remembered our friendship with fondness. The hawks returned to prey and establish homes, and the remaining small animals learned savvy and cunning to survive. Perhaps my friend returned for closure or forgiveness. Although I am not certain of the reason for our visit, I hope her need was met.

The hawks called to one another, circling overhead in an unusually blue sky, the perfect metaphor for the way life loops.

K.

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