I pass this way on my bicycle every few days, primarily to see this tree. I once sat and watched an eagle watching the river from one of the highest branches, and then photographed its takeoff, wings outspread to catch the breeze flowing up the valley.
Much later, I saw two eagles alight together in these same branches to monitor this portion of their territory.
And so now I come this way on purpose, in the hope of seeing a wild eagle and perhaps its mate in repose.
It’s really a yearning for my own wildness, an urge to shed some of my domesticated layers and feel that sympathetic vibration of recognition when like encounters like—as when one string on a musical instrument begins to vibrate when a neighboring string is plucked at a sympathetic frequency.
What manner of musical instrument would have an eagle and a man as neighboring strings? A strange looking one it could be argued. I can only attest to the feeling: a pull, an invitation to come back to a simple, authentic clarity; a call to rise up and stretch one’s wings into a higher, wider, more inclusive horizon; a remembrance of life as a connected whole.
My periodic ride past the eagle tree has become a ritual, a sacrament of remembrance to retune my awareness to all that connects us to everything here.
Now, sitting at home looking at a photograph of the tree, I realize that like all rituals, my bike ride in search of an eagle is just a mechanism, a means of transport. I can reach the eagle without the bike and without the tree. I can reconnect to wild, indivisible life without the eagle because we’re already all connected. I just have to remember.
But I still ride by the tree. Because there’s nothing like a face to face.