More and more I begin to understand that I am not a separate Being making my way through this life alone, but am part of a much greater whole.

An accipiter was my first teacher of Oneness. An accipiter is a bird of prey that hunts other birds. This slender brown hawk offered me the most profound awareness.

I first realized something was up when dozens of sparrows at my backyard bird feeder dove into the big fir tree and scrunched their little bodies right up against the trunk.  This tree is dense and thick, and I could barely make out the tiny birds huddling in alarm, trying to become invisible in the green folds of branches.

What was going on?

Then I saw her, tall and regal, sitting on a branch of a nearby tree. This hawk stayed around for a few days, and I soon came to understand the sparrow’s terror. The bird hunted with deft swiftness and a singular purpose. She would choose one bird and follow it relentlessly, pursuing with astonishing speed, diving and swooping through the tree branches like a fighter jet.

I looked her up in my bird book but could not decide if she was a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp-Shinned Hawk.  So, one day, as she sat placidly on the fence, I decided to ask her.  Feeling her presence and energy, I formed the unspoken thought in my mind, “Who Are You?”

“Are you a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp-Shinned Hawk?”

After a moment, I sensed confusion and puzzlement from the bird, like she did not understand the question. Then her reply formed clear and bright in my mind:

“I Am.”

Her reply was disarming in its simplicity. I was astonished!

This was the most spiritually profound teaching I have ever received from Nature:

I Am.

The bird had no idea what kind of species it was, nor did she call herself a name or offer any limiting identity about who she was. She did not see herself as separate.  The hawk knew who she was.  She was an Infinite Being.  That hawk was so much more aware than I was.  She knew she was a part of All That Is – the Divine Oneness.  I tend to forget this truth.  I get to believing that I am the illusion of Self, the trappings of the physical form. I get to thinking that I am what I do…Mother, Shaman, Writer, Friend. I get to thinking I am the beliefs I hold and am the sum of my experience and knowledge.

The bird, in such a kind and simple way, reminded me of the truth of who I am. She reminded me that I am not a separate Being but a part of Divine Love, Truth, and Beauty.

Thanks to the profound wisdom of this bird, I know who I am…

I Am.

Peace and Joy,