My friend, the gray falcon, flew into the verandah and sat beside me. Had she flown out of my mind or did she fly in through the window? There she was in flesh and blood and it was a delightful surprise! We had not met many times – she had the habit of flying in and out of my life at her own fancy. I remember the first time we had met – we had struck an instant friendship. There was an ineffable aura of warmth and openness when we were together. As she sipped water from the bowl, memories of our previous meetings – few and fond – flashed through my mind.
She: You have become older!
I: Yes, I have! And you look better than before!
She: I’m enjoying my flight more than ever. In the last two years I have seen new lands and met new families. Nowadays, I’m flying with a family that’s very simple and easy to live with! Indeed I’m happy with them!
She winked and added, “They are not complicated like you and me!”
I: How I wish I could fly!
She: It sure would be nice if you could. We could have spent more time together. But, men can’t fly because their minds are too full. They don’t “let go”. Flight requires freedom.
I pondered over the meaning of that esoteric statement. She was flying in and out of the window meeting other falcons who were passing by. We talked, as usual, about life, philosophy and flight and of old times and common friends. A falcon’s face is not too expressive but she could laugh. We had a meal together and later, I walked behind her while she flew ahead. It was symbolic of the past when she had led me to unknown directions. We returned and sat quietly in the verandah.
She: This is probably the last time we’ll meet. It’s sad.
There was a melancholic quiet when she said that. I tried to fill the silence with hope.
I: Life is long and strange. You never know how and when our paths may cross again.
She: You are a man and I am a falcon. We have different lives and different flights. And, today when I fly, I don’t know where I’ll be going.
A quaint thought passed my mind. I imagined the two of us meeting after many, many years and spending the last few years of our old age together. It was an amusing picture – a gaunt, toothless, hunched man with a walking stick and a drooping falcon on the shoulder!
She: I have to leave now.
I: Can’t you stay longer?
She: What is the use? I have to leave anyway!
And she flew away once more. Her flight was elegant and enchanting. Her flapping wings soon became a spot that disappeared in the clouds. But the spot started growing and flew in my mind for hours. The breeze blew her dropped feather onto my feet. I looked at it wistfully and thought, “My dear friend, I’ll miss you. Hope you have a good life ahead!”
Many birds visit my house. Most are scared of me. Some like me and talk to me. But only a few leave a nest behind. When they come and fly away, they leave a disquieting void in the nests. But slowly, their nests get filled with memories, and life goes on…