In the summer of 2010 we were camping in our boat. There is a marine park on the southern tip of South Pender Island, in the Canadian Gulf Islands. We had stayed there a couple of times before and always enjoyed it, but we always felt the energy of the place to be a bit different. The marine park is surrounded by very steep cliffs. For about 200 years ships had been visiting the bay, because the steep cliffs offered them the chance to tie off one side of the ship and allow the outgoing tide to expose one side of the hull so the crew could scrape the barnacles and marine build up. The next day the ship would be turned and the process continued on the opposite side of the hull. The crew members would carve their initials and the boat name on the cliffs and many of the markings are still there today.
One thing about this place is the birds were always annoying, loud screeching sounds, non stop during daylight hours. We would often ask “What’s with these birds?” Well, the birds turned out to be Peregrine Falcons. Noble birds with the most annoying screech that’s like finger nails on a blackboard. One Sunday, late morning, our boat is anchored with the stern about 10 yards from shore. We are preparing lunch, listening to an interview on NPR with Pat Metheny. We hear the birds screeching, again, yet they seemed closer, more frantic. We all look up and see two Falcons traveling at high speed over us. These cliffs are about 100 feet high. Peregrins can fly 80 miles an hour. This pair was traveling very fast. All of a sudden the trailing bird seemed to find another gear, accelerated and clipped the lead bird. The lead bird turned too quick and hit the cliff. We watched it bounce countless times until it hit the beach 10 yards in front of us. The second bird then went into a hairpin turn and landed on the fallen bird. For the next twenty minutes we had a front row seat to a Peregrine Falcon feasting on another Peregrine Falcon. It sat on a rock eating the fallen bird, faced bloodied and looking at us the whole time.
The deed was done and the Victor, flew away. I jumped into my kayak, landed on the beach and saw a mass of small feathers. I brushed them aside and found the bird’s wings still intact with the connecting bones. So, we’re talking wings, bones, no body. I lifted the wings and with my pocket knife cut through the sinew that held the wing bones together. I closed my eyes as I lifted the wings in each of my hands and I saw myself flying through mountain peaks at high speed. A very strong vision. I saw a temple in Egypt where a man was on the rooftop holding a Falcon in his arms. I opened my eyes to the clear blue sky, saw my family sitting around our boat. Feeling grounded and strong I collected five small colorful feathers and the two wings. I paddled back to the boat. When I got in I carefully wrapped the feathers in aluminum foil and placed them on small shelf I had built over the sink. The wings were then wrapped in an old T shirt of mine and I stowed them under the V-berth.
We all talked about what we saw, the amazing, creepy, disturbing spectacle of nature that played out in front of us. None of us had an explanation of what happened. That night around two AM I awoke slightly, while in the ethereal half light of waking and drifting back to sleep, I could feel the boat gently shifting with a new westerly breeze. A small angel, very bright white appeared, followed by another, then another to a total of five. They asked for the feathers and in my dream state I offered the five feathers I had collected that day to them. They each slowly and carefully took the feathers, nodded and flew away. Not knowing or having experience in what I had seen, I drifted back to sleep. The next day, after waking and preparing breakfast for the crew I remembered the vision of the five and looked for the feathers. They were nowhere to be found, I began to be a little manic about finding them and asked my wife and daughter if the had seen the five I had wrapped in foil and placed in the shelf above the sink? We all looked throughout the boat and the feathers were gone. I guess I had really given them away!
The wings hung in my studio for a few years, I had strung them with a length of rawhide I had lying around. Every time I held them in my hands I could feel the sensation of flying through endless mountain ranges, countrysides and foreign lands. Later after we moved down to Ferndale, it was winter. We were unpacking boxes of household items, having moved to our new home, I uncovered the wings. Not knowing the laws of my new homeland I chose to start a fire. I said a prayer and asked God and my Angels to bless our new home with the protective, and expansive energy of the Falcon wings. I received a green light, with that the Falcon wings were tossed to the flames with the hope that the Four Winds would spread the ash throughout my land.