The women in the Alpharetta Community Pool with me this morning were staring at a tall pole off to the side. A red tailed hawk, a huge bird was circling the pole and several small birds were diving at that hawk. The women were riveted by the scene and I found I couldn't take my eyes away either. There was nothing we could do but watch. What happened was playing out so far from our reach.
One of the women told me that the hawk had a bird in its mouth. The smaller birds around the hawk were relentless in their attacks. The hawk didn't seem to be phased as they dove at it. He -- and I will say "he" although it could have been a female -- settled on the flat top of the post. What he had could have been a baby bird. We couldn't know. There were three birds that kept diving at the hawk. It went on for what seemed like -- maybe ten minutes -- maybe less. It seemed like forever. The attackers were so focused,
so fierce, I could only think that they might have been the parents of a baby bird. But, then, it seemed that there were three who were most involved in the attacks.
With my companions in the pool, I felt the tragedy of what was happening above us. Finally, the hawk
flew away and the small birds were no longer to be seen.
The clouds moved in, the rains came and my neighbor and I stood under the shelter of the walkway,
hoping that the weather would clear and that we could go back in the pool. I looked up at the sky,
pleased to see patches of blue between the clouds. It was clearing and bright again.
Then, I saw it -- the hawk flew by overhead. Behind it a flock of the small birds, clearly in pusuit.
"I wish I hadn't seen that," I said.
My neighbor nodded.
I was left with the thought that the master plan for life has so many devastating realities. Above us was a breathtakingly beautiful sky -- and a tragedy in progress.