OH TO BE A BIRD
To Dream Or To Fly That Is The Question!
On my drive home every day I go through a neighborhood that makes me feel welcome. I'm not sure if it is the huge trees that form a canopy of safety over the street or if it is the homes that are Americana in style. It could just be that almost daily I have to stop while a pride of peafowl crosses the road. This neighborhood boasts about two dozen or so peacocks and peahens who roam freely up and down the streets. Even Wagsley gets excited when we turn onto that street. I always stop when the birds are feeding. He loves to watch them, and I am sure if he weren't trapped in the truck he would love to chase them, too.
I am reminded of when I was real young and we would take a day trip to an animal petting park, where there were all manner of animals to chase and pet and ride. I have vague memories of chasing peacocks, and sitting on the back of giant tortoises with two of my sisters. There is also a photo of me at 18 months of age with a goat. Animals have always fascinated children and adults. The brighter they are, the more interested we are.
I have been thinking a lot about my place in this world. Why on earth would God take time to create me? What is it I am supposed to do? I often feel like a caged bird. Trapped behind the bars of a humdrum life with no visible way of escape. When I am outside walking I close my eyes face into the wind, spread my arms and imagine I am a bird in flight. It is exhilarating and I walk for a while like this. I did so tonight. I am sure I look rather silly to passersby. In my heart I long to fly. Cages do not suit me. I look up to the blue sky and imagine what lies beyond the clouds. I ask, "What are you preparing me for? How long until I get to fly?"
The answer, "something amazing....soon..."
It is strange that I would think of life as if I were a bird. As a baby I was given the nick name Ginnie-Bird. I am told it was because when my mother would feed me, I would tilt my head back like a baby bird and wait for my mouth to be filled. Mom wasn't the only one who called me by that name. Others did, on occasion, but it is mom's voice I hear to this day. Just like any name I knew when she was mad at me, or when she was about to ask me to do something, or when I had said something that made her aghast! I always felt special having a name that was unique. It was my intimate connection with Mom.
She was an amazing woman. She gave birth to 7 kids and never slowed down. She cooked, sewed, cleaned, taught, decorated, and played the piano like no one else in this world. When she played, the look on her face was one of pure joy in the midst of concentration. We used to make fun of her because her tongue would come out of her mouth when she was really playing her heart out. It was her trademark. But the look on her face when she played was like watching a soaring bird who was living the life she was designed for. Her fingers, like wings, danced on the wind of the ivory keys. Watching her, put everyone in a trance. You couldn't help but just watch and listen. She truly was a song bird with grace and beauty.
For some like Mom, who find their wings early, life seems so beautiful and perfect. Then there are those of us who, for whatever reason, have yet to take flight. Our feathers are a mess and we peck around like chickens searching for chicken feed, always looking down. We test our wings occasionally. Flap them around when a new breeze hits our face. But we pull back and say, "I'm just a chicken. I can't fly." This is where I have been for a long time. My flight is way overdue, but I had many bumpy lift offs that have caused me to be cautious. My faith needed building.
As I walked tonight with my arms outstretched talking to Jesus, I imagined Him straightening my feathers, and walking around me checking to see that all systems are a go. Imagine Jesus knowing me before I was born. He knows what I am meant to do in this life. He knows when I will do it. He knows what has held me back, and what it will take to prepare me for that jump into my destiny. He knows, because He is timeless. I am the frightened chicken who was content to peck at the ground and only dream of flight. I will become the graceful eagle soaring high above the mountains screeching in joyful praise to God when I finally realize my true potential. Imagine Jesus with love in His eyes, in no hurry to force me before my time.
Every young bird goes through stages of maturity to get to where they need to be. I guess you could call me a late bloomer. I've been living for myself as a flightless chicken for years. I finally realized that the barnyard was just not where God wanted me to live. The life I have lived to date has not been extraordinary. It has, however, prepared me for what is to come. God is patient. When He feels I am ready to fly, the sky will open and the wind will blow and the Father himself will push me into my free fall where the updraft can send me skyward on my true path.
I will scream "WEEEEEEEEEE" and Imagine Jesus and Mom saying "Fly Ginnie-Bird, fly!" What a day that will be!