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... kites and kestrels

An elegant and highly adept black shouldered kite hovers, its presence reminds me of how privileged I am. It, along with its cousin the nankeen kestrel, always uplifts my spirit. I wonder what it is like to be the kite; to hover over this land, to know it from above.

Once again, I take my seat under the tree. Its needles and those of the surrounding trees quiver with the activity of the tiniest of birds; all puffed-up like pom-poms in winter, they become thumb sized slithers in summer. They agitate. Many take a dive into the air, surfacing they fly towards a pricklier place. A stillness, not easily noticeable, descends. All eyes are glued on the kite, mine eager to know its ways, all eager to remain unseen.

I hold my gaze long after the activity resumes, determined to know more. If I get distracted the opportunity will be lost, I know this because it has happened many times before. My eyes have now followed the kite to the top of a dead pine tree nearby, in clear view it rests there. This seems unusual, or perhaps not, perhaps this is what happens when we don't get distracted. No, is the answer. This is unusual, prepare yourself.

I wait. I have no idea of anything else except the awareness that I mustn't allow myself to become distracted. This thought, now alone in my mind is mounting and threatens to become the distraction. Eyes still glued on the kite, I think of the great masters and their discipline. I think of Arjuna and practice the art of one-pointed-focus. This instantly frees my mind from any thought.

I see nothing else other than the kite, the short feathers around its neck being blown this way and that. Suddenly, but with ease another black shouldered kite lands close by. There are two of them! My heart widens and my eyes water. Why don't I ever see them flying together? Something deep within me changes. This means they have company, this means that there might be more one day. I am pleased with myself for sticking it out, I have been waiting for this kind of information for two years and with it, the world seems like it will be a much better place for a long time to come.

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