Boom! “Bird,” I said running from the bathroom to my bedroom. For all of the bird watching I do from our house, every once in a while one of my flying friends misjudges our windows.
In the winter, Bald Eagles, Cardinals, and Woodpeckers are my favorites to watch. I got to the window in time to see this fella on the ground, twitching and stunned.
I went back to the bathroom, tears in my eyes, and started praying for him – not for healing, but for a quick transition over. I thanked him for his beauty, for his colors, and his sound, and then I gave him up for dead.
A couple minutes later I went back to the glass. He was still, prostrate, as if in prayer himself. But he didn’t have the stillness of death. I looked closer. A slight rise and fall to his breast. “This boy isn’t dying, he’s surviving.”
As a human, I can relate. At times, when things gets hard and life stuns me, laying low for a while is exactly the right thing to do. But then, the shock ceases. Instead of thrashing around, I ease into a more comfortable resting position until I’m able to get up again.
That’s the thing with birds, they always take flight again just as soon as they’re able. Humans, on the other hand, sometimes we stay on the ground even though we’re able to rise. Sometimes we want to give up even though life is still coursing through us.
That sh*tty divorce? The unexpected layoff? That terrifying diagnosis? Loss of a loved one?
I know it hurts. It hurts bad. Don’t do what I just did with my bird buddy – please don’t give up, least of all on yourself.
When you get knocked down, give yourself time for the sting to subside. Rest. Regroup. Notice that you’re still alive, breathing, and able. You’re surviving.
This little fella took flight again as I was typing this. As he made his way toward the trees, one of his woodpecker pals joined him in air, welcoming him back. In a matter of minutes, he went from surviving to thriving.
Now it’s your turn.
Welcome back, my friend.
Jamie Muscato is a thirty-something stay-at-home-mom. Between rounds of singing “the Wheels on The Bus” with her son and cheering on the Fighting Irish with her husband, Jamie plays with perspective, laughs at farts, and blogs about it all at commodetojoy.com. You can follow her on Instagram.