Alone on the Trails at Night


Alone on the trails.

Running, lost in thought and the rhythm of my own body.

Out of nowhere, blinding pain.

A screech.

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.