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The Laws of Life and Nature

My backyard butts up against a beautiful, densely wooded ravine, so wildlife is plentiful. Bears come by for coffee. Coyotes get drunk and howl. Mountain Lions, Bald Eagles, and Bobcats set up rowdy Cricket matches. It’s never dull. However, as wonderful and entertaining as this can be, recently I witnessed the harsh side of nature. It was between two Red-Tailed Hawks and a Great Horned Owl.

Last spring, my neighbors and I watched two hawks building a nest, having lots of Cirque du Soleil sex, and when their babies were born, they hunted, kept their new babies warm, fed, and protected, and when they were old enough, sent them to flight school.

We named the parents Uhtrid and Britta, and the kids, Floki and Lagertha. All good, solid Viking names. It was spectacular.

This spring, two more hawks moved into this same nest, and we watched the process begin all over again. One day I heard this racket going on outside. I went to see what was going on and found the two hawks dive-bombing their own nest! They were obviously upset and annoyed at something as they were swooping, circling back around, screeching, and charging again and again. I looked closer and zeroed in on this huge Great Horned Owl standing about a foot from the hawk’s nest. (Relax. No eggs or babies yet).

Since then, the owl has never left its new nest. I Googled, “Do owls steal hawk’s nests?” and learned they do! Owls never build their own nest. They take over the nest of other raptor species. Several videos accompanied the articles I read. I have attached one in case you are interested. Now that I understand this law of nature, I don’t judge the hawk or feel too sorry for the owl. The nest most likely belonged to the hawk and he was unfairly evicted. If anything, the video has a sting of humor and proves that payback is a bitch.

(The tallest tree to the left of center, houses the coveted nest. This photo was taken last summer when the Caldor and Dixie fires began, reminding me that even when such devastation is occurring, beauty can be found.)


Coincidentally, Putin started invading Ukraine at the same time Putin the Owl was invading the Hawk’s nest. Then our fuel prices began to skyrocket, groceries increased, the stock market took a hit, and scariest of all, a madman’s fingers were/are hovering over nuclear weapons. All this, just as our lives were resuming some form of normalcy from Covid. The combination of what was happening in our world sent me into an emotional tailspin. I was angry and I hit a new low. This feeling of hopelessness echoed the first years of caring for Mom.

I had completely forgotten how not to get sucked into the news. I forgot how I needed to step back and take a breath. Fortunately, I have good friends who are patient with me and can pull me back from the ledge.

One friend wrote: “Our job is to be informed but be impartial. Don’t get emotionally sucked into it because when we give it our energy we give power to that which we don’t want. We must be impartial observers. It seems difficult at first, but I’ve proven to myself it is possible. Some will have trouble getting out of judgment. Leave them be. Just be an observer and not a judge.”

Another friend invited me to a boxing class where everyone is challenged one way or another. The class is called “Rock Steady.” Some need a chair to sit in. Some are in a wheelchair. Some need a steady hand on their back for balance and encouragement. Yet there they all were hands wrapped with their boxing gloves on, hitting a bag. I was so moved that I joined Title Boxing. I have never boxed in my life, (and it shows), and I now volunteer to help Rock Steady one day a week.

Here's the thing: Life and Nature follow the same laws. They are just and unjust. Cold, dark winters give way to new growth and spring – without fail. Covid refined how I spend my time, and with whom. It even changed beliefs that no longer serve me. Caregiving (dementia) toughened my boundaries and priorities. Boxing is a new bloom.

Here’s another interesting thing I realized, Nature cycles all on its own, without my interference. It also is ever-changing even though it looks and feels stagnant. Another interesting fact (that is a complete blow to my ego), not everything requires my control. Instead, Nature patiently says “Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

Maybe take a minute now to ask yourself. "What new blooms are budding for me after a cold winter?" What did Covid uncover? Did something happen in your (caregiving) day, or in the last few years that is giving way to something good? Or is it still dormant and hasn’t shown you its new skill? How has Ukraine’s invasion altered your compassion for its people? Has your appreciation for our freedoms been renewed, even though our own government has its own clowns and bad manners?

Be informed but be impartial. Don’t get sucked in or give energy to that which we don’t want. Just be an observer and don’t judge. And remember that Life and Nature follow the same laws. It is okay to loosen our grip. It is okay to have a little faith that all will be well. All is well. Even when it is or appears not well.

Click the photo below for the video I am calling, "WHAMMO!" (the first 30 seconds is the point). Now that I understand this law of nature, I didn't jump to judge the hawk or feel too sorry for the owl. It was probably the hawk's nest in the first place~

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