thank you to Kate Steensma of Steensma Dairy for these photos of young kestrel falcons
I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing.
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins “The Windhover – To Christ Our Lord”
We do indeed hold our hearts in hiding, trying to protect that tender core of who we are from being pierced and shredded by the slings and arrows of every day life.
Yet to live fully as we are created to live, we must fling ourselves into the open, wimpling wings spread, the wind holding us up hovering.
We take our chances, knowing the fall to come. Our wounds shall be healed, even as they bleed.
There is no wonder of it. So stirred.
Ah… Ah, my dear.