Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Flight

I awoke this morning to cloudy skies and gentle rain. My husband and I had planned a day-trip to Walla Walla, Washington and looked forward to getting out of our valley for a few hours. It usually takes two hours by car...stopping in Dayton, Washington for a picnic in the Lewis-Clark Trail State Park and then continuing on to Walla Walla.

Jim (my husband) and I often buy Subway sandwiches in Dayton and take them with us into the park. We eat while sitting in a secluded area with our little schnauzer, Riley. Today, with the light rain and a little wind, we decided to eat inside our Honda. As we ate, our focus was on what appeared to be a large bird of prey sitting in a nearby field, approximately 40 yards from our car. It had moved only once or twice in the entire time we sat there. Jim finished his sandwich and slowly moved 15 yards closer to take a better look. He was surprised to observe a young red-tailed hawk who had evidently taken it's first flight away from the nest and failed to find sufficient food to sustain itself. The auburn hued juvenile was exhausted, hungry and dazed; barely able to move. There was nothing we could do but find the nearest Ranger Station and let them know the bird was in distress.

Jim and I have always loved to experience the out-of-doors and, hopefully, see unexpected birds and animals on our little adventures. The young red-tailed hawk was certainly unexpected and reminded us of the inexperience of youth and how young people, naturally, long to "fly" away from the protection of their families and start independent lives. How important it is, to provide our children with the courage, strength, skills and values necessary for achieving success in an uncertain world.

"Behind every successful child is someone who cares."

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