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The ancient Native American tribe resided on their land for centuries. It was located what is now part of the western United States. There they used the bountiful natural resources available to them by the two rivers and large waterfall running through their territory. The proud culture considered the stewardship of their land as a sacred agreement with the Great Spirit, Father of all people.
One of their many natural legends included the watchful hawk. The hawk was viewed as the sky guardian of the tribe because it could soar high above, scouting the land below. Many times in their long history, a particular hawk would originate in the forest, picking out someone in the tribe that needed special observation and protection. The designation established by the guardian hawk and tribe member was considered a sacred bond, a special gift of the Great Spirit.
As time passed the region was explored by other cultures and races and in time the aboriginal people lost control of their immediate destiny through decimation by foreign diseases and aggression against them. What made this tribe's territory valuable to them was taken by others, ending the zenith of the tribe's ascent. The telling of the hawk legend diminished over time.
In modern times, a single visitor arrived from out-of-town to live in that once sacred land of the aforementioned tribe. She immediately recognized this place as her new home. It is here she absorbed the values of the local population and blended into the community.
The new visitor discovered what the former ancient Native America residents knew centuries before, that this place was special and should be respected by all living here. Whatever issues she possessed upon her arrival dissipated in time. This was a place to only look forward from not to look back to why she came here.
One day many years after she arrived, a family of hawks had a nest in the vast nearby surrounding forest. One of the male offspring hatched and became the dominant sibling of the group. This hawk grew fast and strong. He learned to fly early and left the nest as an independent bird of prey ready to claim his own space of the forest.
One day while soaring above, he look down and saw the rivers. He saw the modern two-legged beings moving about. An instinct informed him that they should be avoided. In another part of his field of view he saw large creatures on four legs being ridden by two-legged creatures. He became curious.
Circling down towards the ground, he landed in a tree not far from one of the riders. The rider had stopped her horse and dismounted. She was standing there admiring the view along that wooded trail, reminding herself of all her accomplishments since arriving at this region. The hawk sensed a familiarity with the rider. He studied her, his keen eyes fixed on her form.
The rider felt an impulse to turn. Slowly spinning around, her eyes caught view of the hawk gazing intensely back at her. In an instant the two exchanged a special message through their eyes. The hawk accepting his position. The rider acknowledging the recognition of something deeply retrieved from her memory. A smile marked her understanding of the event.
The hawk took to flight once more. He quickly gained altitude above the woman. The rider, now having fully absorbed the encounter, climbed back upon her horse and slowly moved on with the other riders. From that day on, she occasionally looked for the hawk when out riding along that trail. She would never know of the ancient legend of that hawk. She would never spot him again.
The hawk saw her many times after their first contact while on his flights. The wings of this hawk over the valley and rivers below kept him out-of-sight of her occasional skyward inspections. The hawk knew what he needed to do, living up to the Great Spirit's mission for him during the rest of his days.
Update: On July 10, 2010, this image is also part of the digital art images I'll be selling in the near future, see Don Larson's Digital Art Posters for those selections.
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