Alone on the trails.
Running, lost in thought and the rhythm of my own body.
Out of nowhere, blinding pain.
Something attacking, hitting my head.
I am stunned.
Not sure. Brain racing.
What just happened? Did that really just happen?
I am in shock.
It happens again.
Something swooping down.
Claws in my head.
Instincts come to life.
Again it swoops.
I let out a scream and swing my arms over my head.
As I bat it, I see it clearly.
Then in an instant, it is perched in a tree: watching me.
Our eyes meet, and with my glare, I convey clearly the naked truth of the reality all around us:
“You are a hawk; You have attacked me. But I am a man, and if you swoop again, I will bat you down, and your life is forfeit.”
I move onwards.
The bird doesn’t attack again, and I realize it was my headlamp that must have attracted it.
I run onwards, not so much afraid, but ultra alert, ultra alive…
and utterly at peace.