I am out in the far corner of my mother’s back yard under the lime green umbrella doing feedback on Zoom with my new writing group when I see her go by. The mama red-tailed hawk glides just below the ridge line, then lands on the dead yucca stem on the eastern arm of the ridge, the one her offspring was sitting on when I understood he was in despair, afraid she might die. I greet her with my leaping heart and see her land, but I don’t feel like I can disappear from my meeting. Without making a clear choice I am whooshed back into the interaction with these wonderful women. (Four of them met for the first time last month, and today there are six of us, the complete set.) I feel lucky to be a part of things. I was funny about joining late, though I may have been the catalyst for the group’s beginning, when (as usual) I didn’t want our writing class to end. I was so taken by that particular collection of people. Later, I remember my hawk, and I ache for my lost chance. It is an “if only” longing, and I know it’s silly. But having her come to sit is so rare. It would have been lovely to have that time to commune with her. I worry, too, that she doesn’t understand why I wasn’t there for her. That she might feel slighted or hurt or even just disappointed like I am breaks my heart. So I will have to believe she trusts in my love for her, knows how much she matters to me. And I will have to believe we’ll have another chance soon.