Sunday, April 3, 2011


Washington Island, Wisconsin -

What can be made of a personal encounter with a bald eagle, an encounter in which that eagle seemed to lead me down the road?  

I’ve been wondering what that experience might mean since posting Saturday’s blog. 

Was the bald eagle fascinated with the green 2002 Dodge pickup I drove? 
Or had that eagle decided at that precise moment I drove past to dive from a nearby tree, swooping low over the cab where I sat at the wheel, to teach me a lesson?  If so, what lesson?  

Within seconds of overtaking me the eagle took the point position, never more than 200 feet ahead and  never more than 30 feet above the pavement as I followed south toward the ferry dock.

Was it coincidence that the eagle maintained a course over the centerline of the road, rather than vigorously flapping its wings to gain altitude and escape confinement from between the tree lines?  Why hadn’t it peeled off to the right when it came to the opening that was Green Bay Road and flown westward and upward?

My first thought upon seeing a bird overtake me from above and behind had been that an owl had descended, a bird type I’ve often seen sitting or flying along that road.  But this eagle’s white head and leg feathers were soon unmistakable, as was its beaked profile when it turned its neck to look back at me. The eagle alternately glided, then flapped its wings, then it glided some more, casual in its flight, never appearing hurried.

Ego would like me to say that this was my experience, just for me, a special treat because I must be special.   (And, I haven’t yet ruled this out!)   At the very least, Saturday morning I had a curious encounter with a bird.   I also recognize it as having been a singular moment, yet not unlike other special moments I’ve experienced in nature, events that have brought me greater appreciation for the continuum that is life on earth.

I am mindful of the extraordinary experiences people report to have had with pets and with wild animals, sometimes claiming to gaze into eyes filled with wisdom and inspiration, and also with inanimate objects or natural events where truth is imparted related in a way that can be intimate, personal and spiritual. 

I shouldn’t rule out the chance this eagle was in its own way communicating directly with me, and not simply reacting to my chromed pickup truck.  Could it see into the pupils of my eyes, or into my soul, even through the windshield safety glass and my bifocals, as it briefly but repeatedly glanced behind?   
I followed its movements closely, and I had all I could do to stay on the road, using my peripheral vision while taking the Point Road curves at 35 mph.   My eyes were glued on the eagle, and I was reminded of the X-wing fighter scene in a Star Wars movie as the gunships jockeyed back and forth between canyon walls.   If I was being toyed with, it was by a bird that seemed to enjoy its leadership role.
Then, after a half-mile of easy flight the bald eagle pulled up its wings in a stall and settled easily onto a large maple tree limb.  It was a high perch, and from there it sat and observed for the next hour or more, moving nothing but its head as vehicle traffic passed below and through the wooded corridor.

At home, later, I read a passage from a book by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D., titled Animal Spirit Guides (Hay House, 2006).  The passage for eagles included these observations -
      If an eagle shows up, it means:
  *  There’s an opportunity for you that you’re considering, and it would be best if you take advantage of it soon.
  * There will be a new beginning in a positive direction following a recent period of strife, one in which you’ve gained a great deal of stamina and resilience.
   * Detach and rise above the mundane so that you’re able to see your life and circumstances with a broader perspective and greater vision.
   *  It’s a time for a great spiritual awakening, one where you experience a greater connection to the divine.
   *  This is an important time to get creative inspiration from the divine, so heed any guidance you receive.
   * Whatever you put out, positive or negative, will now return to you in some form, more quickly than ever.

   If it is a bald eagle:
    * You have an increasing ability to walk between the material world and that of spirit.
    * Dive into inner depths, paying close attention to any visions or inspirations that arise.
You are to call on EAGLE when:
     * You’re caught up in the little details of life and have lost sight of the big picture.
     * You’ve recently had some spiritual insights or revelations and want to integrate them into your daily life.
     * You have to face some major challenge as a result of massive life change.
    *  You’re in a period of struggle or difficulty, one where you get completely caught up in the mundane aspects of your life’s drama.  When an opportunity presents itself and you’re not sure whether to act on it or not.

…and finally…

   You’re a very spiritually evolved individual and a born leader, and people gravitate quite naturally to you.
   You’re willing to endure challenges and struggles because you’re confident that you can meet them, and you trust that they’re necessary for your spiritual development.
  Even though you’re an old soul, you must still go through various initiations throughout your life that will ultimately lead you to living a completely spiritually directed life.
  You’re passionate, and have a bit of a temper that you have to watch.
   One of your main life lessons is learning to conserve your energy and apply your focus to what’s truly important.
   You take advantage of opportunities without hesitation and with a strong faith that there will be lessons or gifts that you’ll discover in doing so.
   Pay attention to the sensations in your backbone as an instinctual trigger to be more alert to what’s going on around you.

These lines above used "for identifying and understanding your power animals and spirit helpers" tend to read something like fortune cookies in that many conclusions can be taken from them, but they also contain elements that are truthful and positive about our lives and our relationship with one another and our world.   

So, what do I believe happened yesterday?   Was I a participant viewing a display by an agile eagle, and that was all?  

The bald eagle is a wonderful creature, one small piece of an even more wonderful creation.   My bald eagle encounter caused me to ask questions:  what had I done that morning that was different? Was this a special message for me?  Why did I deserve this experience (instead of the driver in the white Chevy pickup who came along ten minutes later)?  

I believe my encounter was special because this eagle had my attention then, and it still does.

My experience was not a result of driving a green Dodge truck at 10:15 am on a Saturday.  For some reason (whether considered a force, circumstance, coincidence, or miracle) I was connected with this bird.  It floated and glided easily, and it controlled its movement within the narrow confines of the forested roadway, maintaining a comfortable and consistent distance between us.  This bird was having fun.

Was there an eagle spirit in that fun?  I rely on my reflection of events to get a sense of message.   I admit, my experience was far more special than if I had seen a snake or turtle in the road and had swerved to avoid it, or if I had spotted an eagle from afar.  This was intimate and meant for me. 

I believe that the universe is the work of a Creator, and that the bald eagle is one of the more beautiful and cherished of wild life creations.   This particular bird and its timing on an otherwise gray morning has made an impact by its presence.       

What do you think?

   -  Dick Purinton


Marc said...


I see a hidden message.

Captain Sparks

Warren Bluhm said...

I agree that the eagle provided an opportunity to draw these thoughts out of your soul, and therefore was there to serve a (divine?) purpose.