I want to fly like an eagle, to the sea. Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me.
- Steve Miller Band
It was 11:00am on the first day of 2012. Feeling surprisingly un-hungover and sufficiently satiated from our breakfast burrito/Bloody Mary brunch with friends in Lake Arrowhead, I began to comprise my mental list of resolutions, goals and intentions for the new year. Somewhere between questioning whether I should throw a big party or get a boob job for my impending fortieth birthday, I heard my friend Hayley calling my name from outside.
Considering that only fourteen hours prior that same friend had spotted a mountain lion a few houses away from our rental cabin, I was a bit hesitant to run outside. But then I heard her more clearly,
“Mary, come quick, it’s a bald eagle.”
She pointed up to one of three lithe pine trees outside our cabin and described where exactly I should look. After a few seconds of trying to eyeball through the needles and cones, I spotted it.
I am not usually one to be swept up in awe over animals or nature, unless there are jazz hands involved, but this beautiful specimen had me captivated. I ran inside to grab my camera and call for my husband. Thankfully we made it in time to capture some photos.
We stood and watched her as she gazed around at the lake and surrounding area. Ultimately she flew far into the distance, but not without first leaving me with an indelible mark on me.
You see, my dad’s tombstone reads “Our Guiding Eagle,” so not only was that eagle a breathtaking vision, but it was also a symbol. I was able to soar for the first 29 years of my life because of his guidance and strength. Since his death, one of my biggest challenges has been being able to find the strength to soar without him. As I begin this year with a new book to market and website to launch, both about the loss of my dad, I will treasure that sighting as a sign that I’m on the right path. A sign that I can soar.