Above Little Hawk, three red tail hawks circled, riding the currents of air that rose from the knoll. They were lower than usual, and it seemed to Little Hawk that he could see every feather on the elegant birds. The air currents were invisible to Little Hawk, but the birds rode them as skillfully as deer leaping over a fallen tree, or fish swimming up a river.
As one of the Hawks hovered above him, Little Hawk saw its tail feathers move ever so slightly. First one on the left, then one in the middle, then one on the left again, shifted position. The more Little Hawk watched, the more he could see how these movements kept the hawk just where it wanted to be as the air moved around it.
"The hawk is dancing with the wind!" he exclaimed.
At that moment, the hawk moved its wings slightly. It didn't flap them. It just moved them a little bit. At once it began to circle upward. Little Hawk watched as it grew smaller and smaller. When it was very high in the sky, two more hawks joined it, and they flew away together. Little Hawk thought about what he had seen for a long time. He thought about it all fall and winter. He was still thinking about it in the spring. Something very big was happening inside him. Little Hawk was learning something about his own life from the hawk--how to ride the wind.
Hawks are masters at flying. They can glide. They can climb and dive. They can land in trees. They are masters of their wing feathers and their tail feathers, but they are not masters of the wind.
The wind goes where it wants. Sometimes the wind blows from the north and sometimes from the south. Sometimes it comes from the east and sometimes from the west. Sometimes it flies straight up, and sometimes it roars straight down. It can disappear and reappear from nowhere.
No matter how it blows, hawks love to fly. They move with the wind, but not like leaves in the autumn breeze. Leaves in the wind go where the wind goes, and sometimes that happens to hawks, too. Sometimes it doesn't. The journey of a leaf depends on the wind. Hawks have wills of their own.
The journey of a hawk depends on both the hawk and the wind. Sometimes the wind takes the hawk where it wants to go, and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, the hawk doesn't mind. Either way, hawks are masters at flying, always in control of their wing feathers and tail feathers.
Elegant spirits do this, too. Their wing feathers and tail feathers are what they think, say, and do. They always think, say, and do things to create harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. No matter what comes up, that is what they do. They are in control of what they think, say and do, even though they are not in control of what comes up in their lives. Sometimes unpleasant things come up. Other times happy things come up. Either way, they ride the wind. They do the best they can, and then they let the wind take them where they need to go.
The wind is your life. It is all the things that happen between the time that you are born and the time that you go home. Elegant spirits don't know what will come up next, the same way that hawks don't know which way the wind will blow next. This doesn't bother them because they don't try to control their lives any more than hawks try to control the wind.
The hawk that hovered above Little Hawk did not try to control the wind. It controlled only itself. Elegant spirits control only themselves, too. They do not try to control others. They don't have hidden agendas. They don't think, say, or do things to manipulate other people. They do their best, but they aren't attached to what happens after that. Like the hawks, they do the best that they can, then they ride the wind. The hawk...never stopped using its wing feathers and its tail feathers...that is how they ride the wind. They do not fight their lives. They use them to soar...