It’s not quite dawn. The smoky dark is thick and there is a lightening crawling up from the cracks in the corners of the sky. The crickets and cicadas are croaking at full boom; they are so noisy that it surprises me. Early birds timidly call out and wait for a response that is slow or maybe not to come at all. It is the last days of summer, still humid but cooler in the mornings. I am running—not fast, but measured, paced. The street lights are evenly spaced animating my shadow into a loop all of its own; close to me and dark black, then stretching 8, 10, 20 feet long across the pavement and fading into the bright of the next bulb; then again my black shadow, small and close, then it grays as it stretches and disappears into the light. The rhythmic rebirth of my shadow self, like a trance, keeps my mind quiet. I don’t see the hawk before I hear it. The screech, bright through the thrum of crickets, calls to me. I see the outline of the hawk circling above and I follow.
Once I followed a hawk in my car with my window down and radio off so I could hear the caw as it flew in and out of the tree-line. I lost it after 60 miles, but I found a solitary diner instead. In the diner, I met Garnet and Garnet saved my life.