This morning, listening to the birds greet a beautiful sunny winter's morning, it occurred to me that rain or shine the birds always greet the mornings in exactly the same way. They always start it singing with all their might, greeting the day with their beautiful songs and just getting on with the business of living life fully. One can learn so much by watching them.
As you all know, I like to feed the birds on my balcony; I live in an apartment and can't have any pets as it is against the rules. I mainly get sparrows and speckled turtledoves, a couple of pigeons and in summer, I get regular visits from rainbow lorikeets. All are fun to watch and all bring joy to my heart. Watching them is relaxing and a form of meditation for me.
The other day, one of the pigeons had got himself stuck in my balcony railing. I thought he was dead. It made me so sad and then, when I went outside, it started to struggle. My heart was filled with joy; it was not dead just exhausted from the effort of trying to free himself.
As I approached the bird, he got more frantic so I soothingly told him not to struggle. He froze, perhaps in fear. I like to think that he could feel the vibration of my not wanting to harm him. I gently placed my hand under him (he was so light) and I lifted him up to set him free. He flew up to the roof of my flat and watched as I put the usual seeds out. Low and behold, after his ordeal, he came right back down to my balcony and ate his breakfast with the rest of the birds.
Why am I sharing all this? Well, for one, it was amazing to actually hold a wild pigeon in my hands even if it was for just one second and I just had to share, but I also could not resist sharing the lesson that this situation brought my way.
Life is full of obstacles; some very real, like the bars holding the pigeon back, and some are imagined but we struggle against them till we are exhausted. Sometimes the answer is with a friend. All it takes is a little lift, a little guidance in the right direction and away we go, free again to soar just like my little feathered friend.
The biggest lesson however, from all this, is how my little feathered friend recovered from the situation. He didn't sit on the roof looking down at the evil balcony that had tried to trap him; he didn't relive the frightening situation over and over again. Nope! Down he came to eat his breakfast and live the life he was meant to live.
We can learn so much from birds. They truly know how to live in the now. I believe the lesson here is that sometimes life is hard and we get stuck but often help, in the form of a friend, can set us to set us free. Remaining free, however, is up to us.
Another thing that I have noticed is that while feeding, some of the birds are rather aggressive and tend to chase away the others trying to keep all the seeds to themselves. The funny part is that they can't chase all of them away and that while they are so busy chasing the others away, they are missing out.
How often do we do that in life? Instead of just getting on with a job, we watch and criticize others only to find that while we have been busy trying to assert ourselves and prove how good we are, that all of a sudden a quiet achiever has managed to do the job and reap the rewards we were so trying to reap.
Isn't it amazing how so many life lessons can be found just by observing nature's creatures!
Copyright © 2010 Elisabeth Folino
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