Nature Lessons

I’ve been really into hawks lately. A convergence of coincidences I guess. First I read a review of a book about hawks – or so I thought. It’s really about loss and memory and love and resilience. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. I wanted to go see her at our local independent bookstore in April but I had a work commitment; Mike, my friend and local bookseller, saved me a signed copy. On vacation this summer, I finally got a chance to read it. I had just read this line, “But now my father had died. Hold tight,” when the phone rang. It was my brother, telling me that my father had died. Everything stopped.

In the morning, I didn’t know what to do so I wrote a poem. And then I wrote a message to Helen MacDonald. Within an hour she wrote me back, a heartfelt message of understanding and connection.

Hawks are beautiful and fiercely independent. They are keen, keen observers, paying attention to every breeze, every silence, every sound. They are completely present, always. And they are mostly misunderstood.

Last week I was setting up some summer workshops at the local middle school when something flickered in the corner of my eye. Swooping. Grace. Wings. Stillness. A beautiful red-tailed hawk landed on the gate in front of me. Our eyes locked. I wanted to know what secrets it held inside. A moment later, it was gone.

This is what it means to parent I think. And in the same way, what it means to teach. We might learn from the hawk this simple lesson. Be fierce. Be graceful. Be present. Pay attention. There’s a world of wonder waiting.

About katemccarrollmoore

Kate Moore’s passion is literacy, and she serves as a mentor teacher and staff developer throughout the greater Bay Area. Kate served three terms as the City of San Ramon's Poet Laureate (2012-2018); she also teaches poetry writing workshops and is an instructor in the Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership (MATL) program at St. Mary’s College of California. She was honored as SRVUSD Teacher of the Year in 2007 and San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2009. Kate holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University, East Bay, an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from St. Mary’s and a B.A. in English Education from SUNY Albany. She and Bob Moore are the proud parents of four beautiful grown daughters, and the smitten grandparents of six beautiful children who fill them with hope for the future.
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1 Response to Nature Lessons

  1. bobmoore33 says:

    just great… beautiful and strong… just like you and Big Wally!

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