Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To be ...

This morning on the way to work hubby and I were treated to a rare sight.

A bird - perhaps it was a robin - flew right toward us and within 10 feet of the windshield.  It was slowing down so the tail feathers were fanned out, and we could see the underside markings - an arc near the tip of the tail, perhaps an inch wide, of white against the dark background of the tail itself.  

We remarked to each other about it.  Not often one gets to see a wild songbird up close like that, from such an angle.  We talked about how God loves beauty so much that He thinks to put such a detail, rarely seen and even more rarely appreciated, on the underside of a bird's tail.  How He puts stars in the sky that have been there for longer than we can imagine - only now are we starting to see their light.  All because He wanted them there.

But that bird kept our conversation focused on how the bird doesn't try to have plumage that is this remarkable, grunting and straining to push the feathers to the surface or have them be this color or that.  It just IS.  It doesn't try to be something it's not.  It just is what it is and that is the end of it.  It just lives its life and goes about its business and ... on rare occasions, God ordains that someone just happens to be looking in the right direction, for that moment in time.  

Same with the stunning voices of the songbirds we hear.

I remember hearing meadowlarks calling to each other when I was a child - low, harmonious tones with almost a haunting quality to them.  It was such a treat when they sang.

One of my favorites is the common tree sparrow - such dizzying heights and depths of melody, seemingly effortlessly coming from a little throat less than a half-inch across in a little plain brown and beige body.  It boggles the mind that they don't have a vocal instructor, yet produce the clearest, sweetest music of the season.  

And the yellow warbler - once rare in the Maritimes but now more common as the summers are hotter and muggier - their melodious pipings (as with all birds) are not taught so much as they are caught from their parents.  They are who they are, easily recognizable by their song.  They don't try to be nightingales.  They're warblers. They bring joy just by being who they are.

If only humans....

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