Pause, Reflect, Relax and Breathe

Two hundred years ago a young Bald Eagle looked down from the sky and saw a small Shawnee boy sitting beside a foot path that meandered along the shady bank of a river which flowed swiftly through the woodland. As the boy sat motionless he studied the silence that surrounded him. Oh, there were sounds of course, like the music of the river water happily dancing on its way, the sweet chirping of the birds in the thick brush around him and the whisper of the wind playing in the oak leaves high above his head. But all of these sounds magically blended together in perfect harmony, creating a soothing silence that was strangely refreshing in the heat of the day. As he paused and reflected on the sights, aromas and sounds around him, he felt himself beginning to relax and he became acutely aware of each long, slow breath.

Little did the boy know that the frail foot path, barely visible on the forest floor, would soon become a bridle trail, and over the years the bridle trail would become a dirt road. Decades later the dirt road would become a ribbon of asphalt and then a concrete highway. On that highway, millions of people would rush along the river surrounded by a very unnatural world of plastic, metal and noise. Millions of too-busy-people traveling much too fast to even chance a glance to the right or to the left to view what remained of the young boy’s paradise. Millions of people with wires hanging from their ears and flashing boxes in their hands, keeping them too occupied to talk, to think, or to notice the beauty just beyond the windows.

That Native American boy vanished long ago and so has much of the wilderness that captivated him so, but his river still stubbornly flows along. And young eagles, long absent from his woodland, have returned to the area once again.


As the eagle peers earthward, does he see you speeding along the barren, concrete ribbon below him? If he does, remember that although you may be getting to your destination more quickly, life is short and fleeting. Learn a lesson from a young Shawnee boy. Find a quiet spot along a path and bask in the beauty of God’s creation. Make time to pause, reflect, relax…and…breathe.

Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 2:18 am  Comments (8)  

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So true, Jim! Since I’ve starting watching the eagles near my house, there’s nothing quite like just sitting & gazing up toward their nest, hoping to get a glimpse of them and if I’m really lucky, some good pictures of them. It’s very peaceful & relaxing. And when I see one of them, especially in flight, I’m just in awe. They’re so beautiful & so majestic! I always leave there in a good frame of mind. Love my eagles!

  2. They certainly are beautiful and majestic Karen! I have met many non-nature-loving people who have tagged along to Eastwood with their parent or spouse. Their reaction is almost always the same when an eagle flies past. Their jaw drops as they whisper, “Wow!” as they stare through eyes that are opened wide. I believe that they whisper in respect of the majesty and stare to capture the beauty. Some of them have even returned by themselves hoping for another glimpse.

  3. Dear Jim: I certainly enjoy your e-mails about the eagles, I have kept a notebook on all your e-mails and I know this winter I will enjoy reading thru them all again. I am sorry that Diana left. She always kept me informed when the eagles were nesting. I will miss her. Thank you again for all your e=mails. Jane Hiser

  4. Thanks so much for the beautiful story!! As I get older( did I really say that?) I want to go back to the quiet, calmer, and peaceful times. And nature provides that for me. We don’t have eagles where I live but we do have bike paths and nature trails and I do ride my bike often! A deer, or a raccoon, or even a spider in its web is special to me. Through your eyes and words I can enjoy the beautiful eagles and that does take me back to that quiet place to relax and breath. Thanks so much Jim!!! Polly.

  5. The eagles are still at the lagoon in Englewood reserve, spent the mornings and evenings this weekend eagle watching. Would always see at least two juveniles, but Sunday morning had three juveniles and one mature. I agree with you on your previous post that the mature is not Jim or Cindy, It looks smaller than Jim and is missing the black tail feather.
    Was sure glad my new spotting scope came in, but binoculars worked better because they were so active. Two of the juvies spent a lot time flying from the lagoon to the Stillwater River, only to come back with red tailed hawk in pursuit.
    Not sure where their home is? But they always fly north after feeding at the lagoon.
    Thank you for sharing,

  6. You are welcome Jane. There are more eagle sightings every year so hopefully we will have a lot more to share.

  7. Thank you Polly. In today’s hectic world, getting away from the commotion is more needed than ever before. I am glad we can help.

  8. Thanks for the report Ron. With so little water behind the dam I am a little surprised that there are so many eagles hanging around at Englewood. I saw the juveniles chasing each other last week and I saw two Red Tails harassing them as well. They probably do not have a nest up there though. This time of year Bald Eagles roam a lot. The juvies may be siblings or just “friends” and have no urge to nest at their age and the adult hanging out up there seems pretty young and quite possibly doesn’t have a mate yet. An eagle pair may claim the area again this year with all the interest it is getting. The next two months may hold so news for us.

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