Birds Are for Teaching.
I have been taking an online class called Project 137 facilitated by Patti Digh, author and speaker. I first met Patti in Indianapolis, where she was doing readings from her book, Life is a Verb. I immediately liked her as much as her books. She taught at the Midwest Writers Workshop that year, and I observed a woman with a quiet spirit and wise soul. So, I was eager to be a part of her class.
The online class offered prompts to encourage participants to observe more closely. We attempted to live each day fully and love deeply by remembering to take life-filling breaths, use our creative nature, and make intentional choices, and carefully observe the life happenings around us. One cold winter day, I looked outside at my bird feeder and learned these lessons from my cardinal family.
While watching three red cardinals on my feeder, I visually detailed each brilliant crimson feather and how it blended into a softer red belly. I marveled at the exactness of their black mask around a yellow cone shaped beak. Their crest on the top of their head could go up and down. The great Creator marvelously designed them.
I recognized that the ladies always allowed their mates to eat first. The female sat on an empty branch waiting their turn. They just sat and looked content. I am trying to learn that kind of contentment. They loved their mate or understand the rules so well that they were content to just be, silently sit, and watch all that is around them on that branch that moment. I know love requires silence even when I don't think the order is correct. I know true love requires me to sit and observe, not correct or suggest that my way might be better. I see, just like the soft reddish brown cardinal with much less color in her feathers, that I have an important mission. Because I am not dressed with intense colors does not mean I am less important, just different. Because my purpose is to wait my turn does not mean I am less significant, I am just on a different branch. Because I cherish watching every insect, feeling the roughness of the branch underfoot, and mentally stretch to memorize the exact hue of the azure blue sky that caresses me from above, makes me grateful that I appreciate the universe that surrounds me with beauty and awe. I realized that there are many lessons to be learned by our fine-feathered friends, who live between heaven and earth.