Walking on the Trail the other day, a friend and I were deep in conversation about creative process when a small bird with brown markings bounced down on a nearby railing.
He looks a little tired, said my friend, Kind of like he’s a baby and learning how to be a big bird.
Yeah, tired out from schooling and life lessons, I thought. Like all of us!
The bird sat for so long, we started to wonder if she was hurt, or if she was waiting for her mom.
Are you my mother?! my friend grinned, though a bit worried.
Suddenly, my friend locked a gaze and a focus so powerful, I was reluctant to interrupt her. I’ve been sending out love to her heart! she confided after a few minutes. What a good idea. We don’t want bird heart failure in the middle of our nature walk. And it had been seriously panting, its puffs of air, irregular. I have witnessed dying creatures out on this path, and it is painful. I always want nature to be invincible.
As we stood by, wondering if the remote-bird-reboot had worked, the silence seemed to be create a cocoon. All at once, noise from approaching walkers surprised us all, and the bird took off to a nearby branch.
We felt relieved and cheered it on. Satisfied the bird could fly we said good-bye to our new friend, albeit a bit reluctantly, yet grateful for our encounter.
. . .
What kind of bird has a speckled belly? What kind of bird likes polka dots? What kind of bird has a fashion sense?!
Thrush and Thrasher and up they popped two hours later in my internet search. The two birds look like they could be related. One is a little smaller and has dots, and the other has dashes! Dots and dashes? These birds are delivering some code.
And the code was? T-H-R-U-S-H. At least for today.
I see everything as sign and symbol, especially in nature, and I don’t want to be a thrasher! True confessions though, this sometimes happens to my thoughts when I get inundated with too many life lessons at once. My mind becomes a giant tree with thoughts swinging and flipping from branch to branch like a trapeze artist.
And a thrush? Well, it’s a bird; but it is also means spotted white dots in an unhealthy throat. Oh my! So, how are we going to make it through?!
Breath by breath. Drop the code. Don’t try to decipher things. At least for now.
Got to keep on moving and sing your song! Don’t let the life lessons get you down—that’s the most important lesson of all.
With thanks to A.B. for the nature walk and inspiration!