lessons learned: holding pattern

As I was walking the dogs yesterday, I heard the familiar cry of our neighborhood hawk.  Looking up, I noticed that it was circling rather low, and instinctively, I knew that it was seeking prey.

I watched as it hovered and circled, hovered and circled–just high enough to get what we call a “birds-eye view,” but low enough to swoop in when ready.

And yet, it never changed its rhythm.  It just kept circling and circling.  Didn’t dive, didn’t move to another spot; it simply remained in a holding pattern.

There are times in our lives when we get into a holding pattern.  Most of us fight against it because we want to be doing something or moving forward.

In observing the hawk, I realized that the holding pattern can offer us wisdom if we welcome it.  We get to see things at a distance which allows us make intentional decisions rather than impulsive choices.  We are still actively a part of what is happening, but we are waiting for just the right time to make our move.  And sometimes, we can simply circle and circle without having to make any decisions at all–perhaps just rest in that moment.

During these days of parenting a senior in high school, balancing a work life and a vocational calling, and navigating my way through the daily surprises life brings, I am beginning to understand and appreciate the value of a holding pattern.

What a gift to step out of all of this sometimes, lighten my load, and be mindful of how I want to live my life.

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