South Dakota winter gives a man time to think. One subzero morning, as
Dan O’Brien approaches his fiftieth year, the autumnal
equinox of his life, he takes stock. Feeling a waning sense of purpose,
he decides to devote himself entirely, for the first time in his life,
to his greatest loves—falconry, his bird dogs, and the
prairie he calls home.
summer he obtains a remarkable falcon chick who immediately
distinguishes herself by her ferocity. He names the bird Harley and
trains her in the ways of falconry.
Harley’s powers of flight are
awe-inspiring, her hunting success astounding, and like a lover, she
captivates him. O’Brien hunts with her obsessively, reveling
in her prowess and beauty. What he learns from her and from what
happens one wind-driven day lead him to see fully things he had only
just begun to glimpse.
In this lyrical evocation of the grasslands, Equinox
is a story of a life lived close to the natural cycles of the earth and
of a midlife revelation of the importance of staying connected to all
things held dear.
Life, Love, and Birds of Prey
by Dan O'Brien