A Life Lesson from the Hawk and the Crow

Living in India is frequently a noisy affair, due to the multitude of festivals and weddings that call for loud bands and street processions.

This morning, I was disturbed by furious dhol playing at 7.30 a.m. near the function center opposite my apartment building. Since the dhol is a feature of Punjabi music, I could only assume it was announcing the commencement of celebrations for a big Punjabi wedding.

My first reaction was to become annoyed. After all, it was early in the morning. The din was disturbing my quiet relaxation time. How inconsiderate!

I went out to my terrace garden to try and find calm. Much to my delight, a beautiful hawk was perched on my building just above me. I live on the 15th floor, which is also the top floor, and these graceful birds often circle around in the wind’s currents.

The hawk was peacefully observing its surroundings, not bothered by anything or anyone, included me.

I sat down on the day bed to admire and watch it. Approximately 10 minutes later, a black crow flew in and landed close to the hawk. It then leaped up…and nipped the hawk on the tail!

I was surprised. And shocked.

The crow had interrupted the hawk’s morning reverie just like the band had interrupted mine. It was a daring and bold move. The hawk is a powerful bird, and I’d noticed that smaller birds were usually scared of it.

What would the hawk do to the crow in response to such irritation?

Nothing! It turned its head around to so see what had happened, gave the crow a brief glare, then resumed its position completed unruffled.

I laughed out loud. Suddenly my day was so much brighter.

The hawk and the crow had also presented me with an important lesson. Lighten up, don’t be so serious, and remain equanimous despite life’s annoyances.

Spiritual Significance of the Hawk

A book called Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers by Steven D. Farmer provides insights into the significance of more than 200 animals and birds.

The lesson is confirmed by what it has to say about the hawk (note: instead of hawk I looked up kite, as that’s what the bird actually was in India).

  • If a kite shows up, trust that none of what you have to deal with in the next few days will be  a crisis, so do your best to remain calm and centered no matter what. Take a tai chi or yoga class that emphasizes breathing in slow, gentle movements. A few times each day,  take several slow, deep breaths and count to 10 as you inhale, and 10 as you exhale.
  • Call on the kite when you’ve been feeling tense and anxious, and would like to replace these emotions with calmness and peace of mind.  Also, if you’re having trouble adjusting or adapting to a situation.