A guide through dark or uncertain times…
When I was young I bounced back and forth between the east end of Toronto, a cabin south of Algonquin that my grandfather owned, and my grandmother’s home outside of Orangeville.
I would get anxious being on the road between interchanges and as the landscape rolled into more a more rural setting- far from the comforts the city has to offer. I would keep my head in the clouds during those drives, then I would see a hawk soaring above the highways and fields and I always felt a sense of calm afterwards.
As a kid, I was always encouraged to observe nature and speak to animals, waving hello to the squirrels, raccoons, crows, and whatever other animals crossed my path, so I’d always say hi to the hawk whenever it flew above. Throughout the years, I’d often see one when I was in mid thought about something I felt I needed guidance about, and right after I would suddenly think of ideas that would help me work through my issue. One time when I was in my early twenties, I got into a pretty intense accident and a woman, also in recovery, gave me two hawk feathers and told me about the hawks ability to see far ahead. The message was that I was going to get though the hard times, and even though I can’t see it yet there’s good days ahead.
In many cultures birds are messengers of higher spirits or higher realms. I feel that deeply and for me the hawk is like a guide, and a friend who allows me to learn from it through observation and through meditation. I believe all life forms give us the capability to learn from them. They have their own lives outside of the symbolism that people attribute them to, but do engage with us, and in turn help us find inspiration and meaning from the world around us. The hawk was to me the first to open my eye to these connections.
My artist name has been Ashton NightHawk for sometime now and in 2022 I’ll be legally changing my last name to NightHawk- hence NightHawk Medicine. The night part comes as a bit of a homage to my night owl or nighthawk ways of staying up late to study (when I was learning Chinese Medicine) or making art while burning the midnight oil. Night also represents dark, or darkness, and the unknown. So in short, NightHawk is like a guide that helps someone as they find their way. People already have the strength with in them to heal, but often need care and guidance. My intention is to be a great medicine person and help people of all walks of life find the path of least resistance so their best healthy and harmonious life.