This morning I walk out into sunshine. The greylags are crossing the sea-loch, their babes in tow, paddling like the good little muckers they need to be. Collared doves float between the telephone wire and the bird table and a little mouse just shot along the windowsill (on the outside). When I empty the compost bucket into the worm-tastic bin, I stand for a moment watching the new mini-hive with just a handful of workers tending a new queen cell, buzzing in and out, always doing the right thing. Baby birds line the fence, their beaks open, their wings fluttering, their voices pleading, and, sure enough, there is a parent to make everything okay. The little blackbird we found in the garage, once lifted into the back garden, yelled its head off until mum and dad appeared, making encouraging noises and darting back and forth between the branches.
‘Yes, yes…..they say, we know you haven’t grown a tail yet dear, get over it……. but if you don’t remember those wings can lift you off the ground, then you never will!’
It thinks me about the way they live, those that have a purpose and know it and never forget it. Okay they are creatures, not humans, but I am game to learn from anything and anyone. Learning to fly, sans tail, is something we can all do if we choose.
And, unlike animals, we can think and we can reason.
Perhaps that is our problem, because we might forget at times to be thankful for what we have.
Example…….I look out at the garden and I think….oh flip just look at those weeds! I look around my house and see the dust. I have a shopping list and I don’t feel like shopping. But these are just my work, my everyday, my purpose. Within each of these tasks I find it, if I focus on the task itself, and if I consider it a thanks to life. Yes, I have weeds that grow faster than I can yank them out, but, at least I have a garden; yes, there is dust, daily arrivals of it and yes, it shows up in the sunshine, as do the filthy windows, but, at least I have a furnished house with windows; yes, I have a shopping list but at least I have money to buy what I need, a shop down the road, a car to take me there…….and so on.
With these and so many more of my gifts, comes responsibility, my responsibility to each of them, to honour each one, with respect and good humour, for what is this life, if not a gift? Whatever hardships I may encounter, they will never be as hard as they are for others. I tell myself that, often, at times when I forget I have wings.
These times are valuable times. Pushing them away, pretending they’re not there is never the answer. Feelings about life come and go; times are good and times are not good; the way we see something one day is not necessarily the way we will see it the next. We all want to be happy all of the time, and, yet this is an ideal, an impossible dream, perfection. In order to become the best we can, we need a lost tail day or two here and there, because, although it may be uncomfortable, it helps us to remember that we do have wings.
Oh, and good news for those with lost tails…….
They grow again.