I was finishing up an odd and intriguing novel by Heidi Julavits. THE VANISHERS is about parapsychology and features a troubled woman who while using her psychic gifts, gets mixed up in some past and present nefarious activities. She is haunted by the death of her mother, a suicide when her daughter was one month old. The story is replete with psychic attacks, many of which come in the form of wolves. I realize this sounds unbelievable, but between my long held belief in the power of intuition and Julavits’ skillful writing, I was pretty much into the narrative…when, an ungodly sound occurred just outside my window. Screechy, moaning, other-worldly. My first thought was that a small animal was losing its life in agony. My cat usually hypersensitive to the avian activity outside my window merely looked up, re-arranged herself, and went back to her nap. One more screeching call and I had to investigate.

There right outside my window with only the screen between us, maybe eight inches away, was a hawk! The bird rotated its head to get a good look, made a short screech, and flew a few feet. It then returned for another few moments of eye contact.  Succumbing to the mood created by the novel, I found myself wondering what (whose) spirit was visiting me in this hawk-form so close and loud. All a little unsettling…and fascinating.


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