I am still very much processing the retreat and the impact it has made on my life; I am changed.
However, that is not what this post is about because today, my friend Harry died.
I met Harry at Erlunda Roadhouse this morning. Margo and I were getting petrol and a girl was walking around asking if people were heading to Alice Springs.
She asked if we could take an injured hawk to a vet there. They had been driving from Uluru towards Coober Pedy and Harry flew into the edge of the car, clipping his wing. Coober Pedy was five hours away; Alice was only two and a bit. Getting to Alice was his best bet.
Wrapped in a blue towel, it was touch and go already for Harry. His little brown eye looking at us wondering what on earth had happened.
An indigenous woman walked over to us as we were lying him in a box for safety for the road ahead. The crows were ravenously circling. She looked at him. She said we should put him out of his misery. I told her there was no way I could do it.
The crows, her, I knew he wasn’t going to make it, and I said as much to the people who gave him to us, “The crows are circling, they smell death.” I don’t even know how I knew this, but sometimes I go into that place where I just know (remember) things.
Still, into the car he came. I held onto his box tightly whilst Margo clutched the wheel just as tightly, hoping that with a bit of speed we could save him.
He moved and spoke a couple of times, squawking loudly and beating his wing. I bent my head down, and reassured him that he was safe, putting my hand over his lungs and willing him to keep breathing. His chest moved under my hand as he calmed down, reiki energy diffusing the pain that he must have been enduring.
He fell asleep.
After a while, I couldn’t feel his breathing, and scared, I gripped the box tighter.
We made it to Alice. I took him in to the nurse, “I’m too scared to check if he is alive.”
She opened the towel and reassured me that he was alive. She informed me that the vet would check him over, and if the damage wasn’t bad, he would be looked after and freed eventually. However, if it was bad, they would need to euthanize him.
I expressed my connection to him and asked if I could call later to check in. She said, “Of course. But if we have to put him down, don’t yell at me.”
Shocked, she explained that people do. I said I wouldn’t. I understood that his best interests overrode my interests.
The vet checked him and informed me that with a broken leg and a broken wing, there was no possibility of rehabilitation. I said thank you and walked out to Margo, crying.
Poor Harry (why the fuck do I name wild animals???).
I am grateful he was spared from the crows. I am grateful that his last hours were spent being loved and held. I am grateful that he passed humanely.
Rest In Peace my beautiful friend. I know that we will meet again. Soar high.