Red kites have been around me for a few years now. I first came across a pair hunting at the Hills and Holes near Burleigh House, Stamford, and fell in love with their calm grace as they ride the winds searching out for mice, voles and other small prey from far above. Their distinctive flash of red as they twist and turn on a sunny day strikes awe in me and I can watch them until time disappears…or at least until they do!
I was delighted when I began my frequent trips through the Northamptonshire countryside and saw one of my favourite birds on just about most clear days I was driving. When Rubi and I moved in together in her home town my drives to and from work every day became meditative times when I’d catch moments of red glory performing aerobatics in the skies above me.
Our dog walks around the ancient woodland and old Roman road near home often bring an encounter with two or three kites. But today was even more special and as I tried to attract one flying high over the nearby trees by holding my arms still and ‘gliding’ on the ground – if you can do such a thing – and ‘twitching’ my hands every now and then like he/she was doing up there in the air above us. Rubi was trying to take a photo of a red kite in action and there I was impersonating it! Luckily not many other people walk there…
But weirdly as I did my slow flapping and concentrated on calling the bird in my mind…he/she came over to investigate. It was a beautiful moment and I could see him/her looking at us…a pair of two-legs….one looking through a box of metal with a glass eye….the other looking ridiculously as far from graceful as the real thing you could get. Floating metres above us with a superior look in it’s eye, the kite realised we weren’t as curious after all and tweaked a few feathers to sail away into the distance.
I really am a simple person. Connecting with the natural world around me as much as the social world is as important to me as breathing, eating and sleeping. It’s a fundamental part of my spirituality and feels as archaic in my sense of self as I relate to the natural world as I feel my distant ancestors would. Not that I ‘worship’ natural spirits of animals, plants, indeed people….more that I connect and relate to their different qualities and aspects and if different animals or plants come into my life I like to consider what connection that makes with me. Mostly I just have little moments of reflections on my own. But today Rubi came back and looked up Red Kite on an animal totem webpage – http://www.sayahda.com/cyc.html
This made intriguing reading as it turns out kites are all about letting your true identity emerge – to take the mask off your face and express your true self with pride and dignity. Well….whaddya know?! That’s a bit of a theme for now 🙂