Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I had a very bizarre experience Saturday that is certainly worth documentation. Although the meaning of the events is still unclear to me, I hope that writing it down will provide me with enough information to sort it out in the future.

So Saturday morning I drove back from Bountiful a little later than I planned, mostly because I slept through my alarm. Being out late the night before didn’t really help my already exhausted system, so I didn’t feel guilty lying in bed till nine. I arrived in Provo with just enough time to go on the hike I planned with my roommates before I had to go into work. Unfortunately, because I arrived later than planned my roommates were already engaged in other pursuits and I found myself beginning the strenuous hike by myself.

I wasn’t opposed to doing it solo, I’m a big fan of alone time. But in light of Camille Cleverly’s tragic passing I felt a little unnerved to be going by myself. But I was determined to do something active and outdoors because I’d spent the previous week confined in the walls of the library, so I went.

Taking time to soak in the beautiful scenery and staying hydrated, I quite enjoyed the hike. It didn’t hurt that I was listening to the New Pornographers either. After about an hour and a half I found myself approaching the summit, and I quickly climbed the final stretch, excited for a chance to rest. The view was incredible, brilliantly highlighted by the autumn change of the leaves. I sat perched on the edge, taking it all in and listening to the dull humming sound of civilization below. I flipped my i-Pod to something a little more reverent – Iron & Wine.

As I listened to that man’s sweet honey voice I caught something in my peripheral vision. I glanced right and saw a beautiful falcon riding the wind up and around the edge of the peak. My eyes followed him as he swooped high up behind me and I was startled when he halted his circular motion and realigned his course in my direction. Suddenly he was dive-bombing, and he let out a loud shriek as if to say, “Here I come!” I froze in my place, captivated and a little unnerved by Nature’s unexpected assault. I smiled as the falcon swooped past, missing me by a good yard, and then he turned and began to circle up again. As he approached me another time from the rear I thought about putting my arm up to see if he’d land on it, but panicked at the last moment and barely dodged out of the way as he dove past me again. As if two rounds weren’t enough, the falcon made one last circle and dive and I involuntarily threw up my leg to protect myself. He missed me by inches and landed on a rock two feet away.

I stared at him completely enthralled and quite baffled. I reached into my bag, pulled out my camera and began documenting this up-close-and-personal encounter. “Horace (I named him Horace), why did you attack me? Can’t we just co-exist?” Horace looked at me and shrieked, and I glanced down at his foot. He had a little strap wrapped around his ankle with a severed band attached to it. It appeared that Horace was an escapee, a runaway, and that explained why he wasn’t afraid to approach me.

He jumped up on the rock next to my bag and stretched out his wings a little bit. I was still pretty shocked about the whole thing and continued to snap photographs, knowing he could take off at any moment. Seconds later he did just that, leaping from the edge of the peak. He stretched out his wings and glided upward, and I was incredibly jealous.

I couldn’t help but wonder what this all meant. In all actuality it was just a ridiculous coincidence. Who gets attacked by falcons? But it did not escape my notice that several elements of the experience seemed symbolic.

The omen was airborne, possibly a sign from heaven? He definitely came at me from a pretty high altitude. I also thought it was interesting that he dive-bombed me three times, a rather significant number. In recorded scripture people often witnessed visions and dreams in multiples of three, like Peter and Joseph Smith. This was done to get the message across, to emphasize the importance of the details.

Another significant detail was the severed strap around his ankle. Horace had broken free from something, and was now at liberty to soar in the sky without the constraints of a leash. He did, however, still have a piece of the leash, which certainly tied him to his past captivity. So although he was free to fly, he still carried with him the remnants of his past.

I’m not so dense that I couldn’t see the parallels in my own life.


Blogger Stuart said...

I hope you will post some pictures of the falcon. Sounds like from you blog the falcon was more committed to you than some women.

7:37 PM


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