Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Bird and Me

The past several days I’ve been out of sorts. My back has bothered me quite a bit. And while I think this is all part of physical therapy and recovery, it is still discouraging to be in pain. Work has been less than satisfying and I’ve really let it get to me. It’s been hot, I’ve been tired, I’ve been restless. Add in a dose of PMS and it all makes for an unhappy Jane (and a poor Jason).

Saturday morning I went for a run. I’d planned for 12 miles and I didn’t really have a route, I was just planning to run wherever I wanted to go and let my Garmin tell me how far I had left. The morning was humid, but not oppressive and just as I turned back into my neighborhood, the rain came. It felt so refreshing and cleansing. I was salty and sweaty and the rain was cool on my hot skin. I completed my run and decided since I was already wet I would turn on a “cool-down song” and walk around the block.

I was listening to “The Call” by Regina Spektor. I heard the song on my Pandora radio station one day at work and it reached into my soul and comforted my frustrated, restless mind. So as I walked in the rain, stretching out my tired legs and listening to The Call, I felt…better.

As I approached my house once again, I saw a tiny bird sitting in the middle of the road, looking up to the sky. I didn’t think it was dead or it wouldn’t be sitting like that. I approached slowly, looking around for a mama bird or a nest of some sort, but there was nothing but the steady rain, me, and the baby bird.

I hurried inside and grabbed an old towel. I walked back out to the street and using the towel, I gently scooped up the baby bird. It hopped and peeped, and I was glad it was still alive and unhurt. I put the towel on the porch, out of the rain and the danger of cars, and left him there to rest. I wasn’t sure what to do with a baby bird and I was starting to get cold from being drenched myself.

I checked on the bird throughout the day. He stayed in the towel for a while and then hopped out and pecked at little bugs on the porch. He hopped down into my flower bed and stayed there until he made his way out into the yard. I still hadn’t seen a mama bird, and I was worried that the little guy might starve.

I went to the garage, found my spade, and dug around until I found a worm. I took it out there too the baby and he opened his mouth to my hand. It was the coolest thing! And it was then that mama bird made her appearance. She sat on the fence behind me and chirped loudly until I moved away from the baby.

After that I figured the baby would be fine and sure enough, each day I’ve found him somewhere near the side of the yard or the back, and the mama bird is always close by. I can usually find the baby’s location by listening for the mama’s calls.

I look for him each morning after my run and each afternoon when I get home from work. When he moved to the back yard, I had to keep Chance close to me because I never knew exactly where the bird would be. At one point Chance found him before I did and I had to quickly pull him away. I felt responsible for the bird’s well-being and I didn’t want my very own pup eating him!

As the week has progressed, I’ve worked on not letting my back issues discourage me and I’ve tried to have a better attitude about work. It has been a struggle and I haven’t always been a nice person to live with, but I’m working on that too. Each afternoon I’ve come home and while watering my plants or walking Chance, I’ve looked for my little friend.

This afternoon I had Chance across the yard from where the bird and her mama were. As I stood there letting Chance do his business, I got to see the mama swoop down to the ground where the baby was and feed it. I held the leash tightly, roasting in the hot afternoon sun and grinning like a little girl.

I know there are way too many wonderful things in this life to let a few unpleasant ones get me down. Knowing that and acting on it, however, are different and these past two weeks I have not acted on that as much as I should. I’ve been down and discouraged, full of questions and worries and restlessness. And yet, when I asked and when I didn’t, God has provided little things to cheer me up. A sweet husband who cooks dinner. A good run. A refreshing rain. A hug from a niece and a nephew. And a little bird. A bird I’ve gotten to watch grow and thrive even though he has been tossed from the nest where he is supposed to be.

I may not be where I’m supposed to be or where I want to be, but that doesn’t mean I can’t thrive anyway. It doesn’t mean I can’t make the best of it and enjoy the blessings I have despite the ones I don’t. So that’s what I’m trying to do. And I have a helpful little reminder for a time to show me how.


  1. thank you for sharing this!!!! i can totally feel your pain on the "not knowing if you're where you're supposed to be" and the job stuff. thanks for sharing the insight you're's helping me keep things in perspective too.

  2. I love this. It's amazing how one seemingly small event (animals, nature, running :-)) in our lives can shape our attitudes towards everything!

  3. Also - I LOVE "The Call." I heard it at the end of "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" and immediately went home and (legally) downloaded it. Perfect calm-you-down-and-make-you-appreciate-life type song. Perfect.

  4. Thank you - I have my own little treasury of blessed moments from nature that have helped reground me and let me see my blessings when I have been too grumpy to see them on my own. What a treat to have that little bird!