Sandra Hickman
Sun City, Ariz.

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January 15, 2013
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Hunter of Hawks


To the man who shot the hawk at 4:50 p.m. Jan. 10 over David Walley's.

I had been watching birds over the wetlands all week. As I usually do when I visit, I had binoculars. I enjoy the wetlands and the beautiful birds that visit here all times of the year. Every year I visit David Walley's, I experience wonderful peace and calm in the waters and by the wildlife preserve.

One hawk captured my attention for the last week. He was very large and one day sat perched for hours in a pine tree directly outside my room. I enjoyed getting up every morning and looking for him over the wetlands, watching him soar, cruising around and eyeing prey.

What are the chances? Amazing that at the precise moment you determined to shoot that majestic extraordinary large hawk dead, I had it fixed in my view with binoculars. He was happily soaring, high over the wetlands with a smaller mate. I was taken by his glory and giant wing span and commented to my friend that he was spectacular.

Your first shot barely missed the smaller hawk, joined with the other in harmonic soaring. It swerved, feeling your bullet graze its feathers. I gasped and with the second shot my heart almost stopped. I was aghast to see the huge hawk fall straight to the ground and land in the snow. So sudden. So final.

I watched you retrieve it with your dog. I saw you pick it up and carry it back across the wetlands. I stood at the edge of the wetlands as you returned to your large bronze pickup truck.

You passed me as you circled through the spa parking lot, your hunting hound dog happily looking out the open window. Ironically, the pictures I took on my phone were corrupt and the deputy who responded to numerous calls drove right by you.

Thank you for reminding me about fragile life. One year ago this week I lost my husband in an accident.

How sudden the shift from admiration and appreciation to sadness and loss. Our attachment to people and things is not always resourceful. You reminded me that we need to be in a state of gratefulness in every moment, for everything, in every way. I am thankful for you today, Hunter of Hawks, for reminding me of this painful lesson. I am exceedingly grateful that during the last moments of the hawk's life, he was being admired, appreciated and loved, just as my late husband was.

The wetlands are the same now. Life goes on. The hawk is a hunter who was hunted. I am beginning my life over too, and life goes on around us. I feel grateful that even after a great year of loss, I still have an expansive heart, able to feel, and love and appreciate. Thank you Hunter of Hawks for helping me move on.

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 15, 2013 06:37PM Published Jan 15, 2013 06:36PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.