For my falconer friends, I think you'll get the pun. For the non- falconer's, here's some background:
The falconer's knot is a knot used in falconry to tether a bird of prey to a perch or a glove. It's one of the first things we learn as an apprentice.
I thought about my first few months in this sport...when I spent a lot of timing trying to learn how to tie that knot and that got me thinking to all the things I’ve seen, learned and experienced in these few short years.....
A Falconer’s Not.
A falconer’s not indolent. His days are wholly devoted to preparing his partner. Trapping, training, conditioning, practice all demand his time and he joyfully gives it. Each second spent with the bird increases their bond. Each moment of preparation yields greater anticipation for the hunt. Each day in the woods tests his physical endurance and mental resolution. Each season deepens his love for the sport.
A falconer’s not deterred. The hot sun beats down on his brow. The ice bites at his chapped ears. The wind stings his cheeks. The snow blinds him. Rain soaks him to the skin. Yet, he presses on. Briars rip at his skin. Vines catch his neck. His legs ache from the tireless walking. Darkness begins to descend. Still, he beats the brush and shakes the trees, hoping to produce one more slip for his partner.
A falconer’s not intimidated by chaos. He knows that each hunt will show him something new, something he cannot control. Man-made hazards lurk around every bend. Resident birds scream their warning. The unknown looms. Yet, these things do not matter in the moment. He’s in the business of managing chaos. He yearns for the chase, the thrill of the slip. To see the bird’s determination, to feel the adrenaline of the prey as it’s pursued. To insert himself in the hunt, with value and purpose. To see the beautiful disorder of nature unfold before his eyes is worth the costs.
A falconer’s not fearful. He knows each loft could be that bird’s last flight. He accepts this. He understands that every odd is stacked against success, yet, he wakes up each morning with only one goal - loft his bird and take game. He embraces the challenge to provide good land, good slips and good support to his bird, fully knowing the misfortune that could unfold on the next slip, the next chase, the next trip to the mews.
A falconer’s not ever satisfied. Even on the best, most successful days in the field, his thoughts are consumed with every detail of the hunt, trying to either improve or replicate the days outcome. After returning the bird to mews and finally sitting down to a hot meal, he can’t help but replay the specifics back in his head. Every nuance. Every slip. Every miss. As he lays his head down to sleep, he strategizes for the next day. How to improve. How to move forward. How to be better.
A falconer’s not ever conquered by defeat. On the worst days, when the unthinkable happens, he knows this is just part of the deal he struck with mother nature. Even when his best efforts fail and he stares in to the eyes of tragedy, he knows his love for the sport will not be quelled. He will pick up the pieces, dust off his pride, stow his ego and continue onward, by all means. Because his passion for the sport will not ever let him stop.