"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings." Victor Hugo
For months my friend Lisa has been training wild birds to come and eat from her hands. Regularly she would write about her progress on her Facebook page, I loved these posts, entitled "As the Bird Turns". It made me want to have the experience that she was having. To feel those tiny feet land on MY hand and eat from MY palm. And so I asked Lisa could I come, could I feed her birds. Graciously, my friend said yes. When my alarm woke me early this morning, I couldn't layer up and head out the door fast enough, mittens, heavy coat and husband with camera in tow.
We arrived at Lisa's and I finished bundling up. The morning temperature was 26 degrees and I wouldn't be moving. Lisa gave me her hat, which the birds were already familiar with, instructions not to move, how to hold my hand, and a reminder not to look around or move my eyes, and then we were on the porch. Lisa settled me on the chair, gave her familiar bird “hello”, to her feathered friends, and then left me, sitting, not moving, my mittened hand full of fresh walnuts.
All was still. Snow still on the ground and chill in the air. I took slow, quiet breaths. I felt myself melting into my surroundings. And I waited. The minutes stretched on. 10 or 15 minutes passed and although I could hear tiny, feathered friends flitting and stirring around me, none approached to feed. My fingers began to feel numb. I was not giving up yet. I began to pray. I lost track of the time, and then the unmistakable rustle of wings nearby broke the silence.
Suddenly a little Titmouse appeared. Thoughts tumbled through my mind, stream of consciousness, "Don't be afraid little one, come and feed, I have good things here for you. Stop fluttering about, don't hesitate, I won't hurt you, come and rest and enjoy these blessings." The feeling of tiny feet on my fingertips will never be forgotten; my heart soared. My facial expression never changed, I barely dared to breathe, I made no sound, but, my heart was singing, my spirit was smiling. All the long minutes (about a half an hour) of silent, stillness, and waiting, were for that one moment, worth it all. The experience repeated itself over and over again. The thrill never abaited.
I would have sat there much longer but my hand was starting to shake and the cold was taking its toll. As much as I wanted the experience to continue, I knew I needed to stretch and move, even though doing so would mean ending this amazing encounter. I had to warm up. Reluctantly I stood and my new feathered friends scattered to nearby branches. A squirrel who had ventured a peek scurried down the trunk of the snowy tree hanging over the railing. These special moments would never be forgotten.
This experience was Holy on so many levels. The closeness to the tiny, perfect creatures warmed and amazed me. Their fragility, and their courage, their beauty and perfectly equipped feathered bodies were stunning. The stillness, mine and the world around me, altered my being, drew me into a quiet state of worship. As I looked at the fresh bounty in my palm, I thought how God stretches His hand laden with blessings out to ME and to ALL of US. I realized how often I flutter around, too busy, or too afraid to reach out and receive God's blessings. I realized how His heart must soar when I (and you) rest and refresh in His hands. God spoke to me in the stillness this morning and through the beauty of His creation.
As I approach my 60th birthday next January, my goal is to enjoy 6 new experiences, one for each decade of life. Today was my first. Hoping each adventure will be as amazing. Praying each one of you finds rest and refreshment in the hands of The Lord. He's sitting very still, and very patiently waiting to bless us all.
Many thanks to my friend, Lisa Schnoor for sharing her birds with me, and to my amazing husband for capturing these precious moments. You both blessed me abundantly.
I'm a wife, mother and grammie who loves time with family and friends. I love learning new things, visiting new places, and making each day count, because moments matter and I don't want to waste mine.