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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kennedy

Dalton's Run

Updated: Jun 17

"Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood

For nothing now can ever come to any good."

Dalton's world had collapsed around him. Once full of promise and hope: happy family, great job, respect in his community, now all tattered memories like pieces of confetti, the result of bad habits and poor decisions.

Dalton was alone, humiliated into the dark woods near the imposing home where he and his family once lived... together.

Life had broken Dalton. He now found himself high on the mountain looking for the best place to jump for a certain end to his misery.

But just as he summoned the false courage to begin his run on the slippery, slick slope of granite, something unexpected happened altering the way he saw his tragic world.

Above a giant tree sat a Red-Tailed Hawk with a fledgling clenched in its talons. The anguished outcry of nearby birds became a cacophony of chaotic noise.

In all his wanderings, Dalton had never heard such a deafening sound.

Instead of running off the cliff Dalton paused to watch the Hawk devour its defenseless prey. He listened to the frantic cries of birds hidden among the twisted, gnarled branches of the nearby Juniper Tree.

Dalton sat. He watched. And he listened with a mixture of fascination and horror.

And to Dalton's surprise, once the Hawk finished his meal and launched from his perch, the birds began singing in harmony as if the Hawk was never there.

"Why?" he thought. "Why are these birds suddenly happy?"

In that moment, Dalton refused to be swallowed up by the world.

As soon as the Hawk had its fill, and the frenzy of the moment passed, the surrounding birds stopped singing in the tune of death and instead they sang in the melody of life.

Dalton wondered if it was just coincidence the Hawk was there to begin with. Afterall, it was the frantic cries of the birds that stopped him from running off the cliff and they seemed to cheer for him immediately following his decision to live.

As Dalton walked back down the mountain he noticed a golden glow coming from the ragged rocks above.

The wildflowers were oddly more vibrant and fragrant.

Nature was speaking and Dalton was fully alert.

Spokes of hope began shining through the forest.

And a familiar warmth spread within his chest.

Life is beautiful, he thought.

Now smiling and walking along the creek, Dalton did not feel alone. He remembered something he once overheard:

"Coincidence is just God's way of remaining anonymous."

Dalton began to run.

But this time he ran with a renewed sense of promise and hope.


I’m Michael Kennedy, Olympic Valley, CA resident, married to Nicola Kennedy (in photo above). I’m a writer, photographer and property caretaker. I just want to say thanks for your attention - I appreciate it in such a noisy world. If you enjoyed it, please share with others.

It means a lot to me and it helps others see the story.

If you're interested in owning any photos in my gallery: click here, call or text me with any inquiries at 530.608.9150. My email: 

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