A few days ago, I was sitting on the couch reading, when all of the sudden I heard a thud. I knew that sound! It meant some poor, unsuspecting bird had flown right into the sliding glass door in our family room. I jumped up to go see if it had flown away, or if it was injured.
About three feet away from the glass door, there was a beautiful, yellow finch with its wings all sprawled out, not moving. It had fallen onto the seat of a nearby chair. I walked over, and gently picked it up. For just a moment, I was in awe! This tiny, wild, feathered creature was lying so motionless in my hand! I could see its heart beating, but its eyes were closed, and its claws clutched tightly into two balls. I didn’t know if it was going to live or die, but in that moment it was like time stood still. I gently stroked his soft feathers, and quietly spoke to let him know I wasn’t going to hurt him.
I was hoping that he might just be stunned and only need time before he could fly away. It was tempting to go sit down and keep him resting in my hand, but I was pretty sure he would feel safer if he was at some distance from any human. I looked around for a safe place to put him while he rested. I carried him over to a bush that was in a nursery pot, waiting to be planted. He still had his eyes closed, and was unable to sit up straight. I carried the pot over to an area out of the sun, and said a little prayer for his safe recovery.
I came back out a few times to check on him, and he seemed to be gaining strength, but he was still sitting there. Finally, I saw that it was 2:30. I had a client in a few minutes, and needed to leave for the office. I went out one last time to check on him. I intended to move the pot over to a higher spot to keep him safe, in case a neighbor cat came to pay a friendly visit to our yard. He was sitting up straight, and his eyes were wide open. I was so relieved!! I reached out toward the pot. Just then he flew off — over the tall bushes between our house and our neighbor’s, and disappeared. He had just needed time to rest and heal.
I started thinking. Jolts don’t just happen to little birds! How often do we, as human beings, feel like we’ve been knocked flat by some unexpected news or experience? I know I’ve had my share of things that have seemed to come out of nowhere and send me reeling! Just like this little bird, I’ve needed time to rest, get my head together, and figure out the best way to go forward.
It isn’t so much what happens to us, as how we respond to what happens, that makes so much difference in our lives. We can live from a position of strength and resiliency, or we can give in to despair and hopelessness. There are real tragedies that happen, and that isn’t what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the things that feel like we’ve had the rug pulled out from under us, but are actually just part of life. The next time something like that happens to you, just remember my little, wounded bird, and give yourself the time you need to figure things out. If you need a helping hand, reach out for it. You’ll be so glad you did!
Until next time,