“What Does She See?” #ABirdTale

birdsnest

Maybe if you walk long enough, often enough, with eyes and heart wide open, and in the right places, it just happens. You see some remarkable things. And I have: a young girl learning to ride a bike for the first time and celebrating the accomplishment with her dad; a weekend duffer finding the sweet spot and watching in disbelief as his perfectly struck iron shot soars through the air and settles within inches of the cup; the special bond between an old man and his dog; a pair of 80+ year-old lovers still holding hands; a child taking their first steps; a little boy with skinned and bleeding knees mustering the courage to get back on his two-wheeler and try again; breathtaking sunrises, sunsets and rainbows; a father hugging his teenage son with intention and compassion;  the magic of a game-winning goal; a single mom teaching her son how to throw a football; a friend drying another friend’s tears; orchids in bloom; the kindness of strangers; Santa Claus riding on the back of a firetruck; and (only in South Florida!) rain falling on one side of the street, but not the other; to name only a few.

But, it’s the things I sometimes see in the ordinary, in images I’m certain I’ve seen a thousand times before, but, thanks to insights gleaned from my daughter, I now see differently (perhaps as they were always meant to be seen) – that inspire me, resonate most deeply in my soul, and often stop me in my tracks.  And so it was last Saturday morning, as I came across a young bird picking up a tattered piece of fabric on the sidewalk and carrying it to a perch in a nearby tree, where she quite obviously was in the early stages of building a nest.  I really hadn’t planned to give the moment a second thought and didn’t, until several steps later when I felt that now familiar stir inside of me.  Uncertain of its source, I continued on, making the nearly 2 mile circle back and then I saw her again, this time sifting, with the determination and enthusiasm of a holiday shopper, through a small pile of brown leaves at the base of a tree.  It was then that tears started trickling down the sides of my face and I hurried home to put them on paper:

What does she see . . .

in the tattered piece of cloth torn from a since discarded blanket?

in the fragile twig convinced it lacks the strength to survive, let alone contribute?

in the delicate feather left behind by a recently departed friend?

in the scrap of paper torn in anger from another letter of rejection?

in the fallen brown leaves certain that their life was over?

in the tender reed bruised and buffeted by one too many storms?

in the straw, the piece of string, the remnants of an old cotton ball, the low hanging moss?

What does she see . . .

in the brokenness?

in the discarded?

in the misshapen?

in the ill-fitting?

in the left for dead?

What does she see . . .

that we can’t or refuse to see – that we walk by, dismiss, disregard, trample upon?

She sees beyond.

She sees missing and essential pieces.

She sees the blueprint of a home.

A home that is uniquely hers,

that woven together with tenderness, patience and care will one day provide her and those she loves with warmth, comfort, security and shelter,

that is beautiful –

and she is (rightfully) proud.

Maybe today, we can resolve (dare I say commit?) to stealing a page from my new feathered friend’s songbook.  Maybe today we can honor her by allowing ourselves to look beyond what may, on their face, appear to be the mistakes, the brokenness, the missteps, the ill-fitting pieces of our past (or our present).  Maybe we can see them through her eyes for what they are: pieces of something bigger, something stronger, something more life-supporting, something that woven together, tenderly, patiently, lovingly, with all the good is our “home”, what makes us uniquely beautiful.  Maybe in the process we can replace the shame and guilt that we have associated with them with rightful pride for having survived them, for overcoming.  Maybe, for just a minute, we can entertain the possibility that those who love us most and know us best have been right all along:  We are all of that – the beautiful and the broken – and still loved and worthy of love.

http://tinyurl.com/gophnjv

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