as the coffee brewed, i stood at my kitchen window, drinking my morning glass of water and watching a bird bathe.
i watched him land beside a puddle just outside my wrought iron gate. he took a few tiny sips of the water, then waded in. i was melting from the his cuteness, turning into my own kind of puddle from behind my open kitchen window. he dipped his head into the puddle and threw the water back onto himself. he splashed + chirped, and chirped + splashed. clearly enjoying it, but also just getting done what needed to be done.
after a few minutes, he flew up to balance on my little black gate, that much closer to me. totally unaware that i was creeping in on his bath time. as he perched there, he fluffed + primped + dried himself. shaking his feathers, spreading his wings, pecking at himself, and puffing himself up.
by this point, i was entranced by him. and i suddenly found myself thinking about some very familiar words. a saying that pops up in my life time and time again. so, as always, arising from those deep, learned places in my soul came words from the bible. words attributed to jesus.
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your God feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin…
the birds don’t worry. the flowers don’t either. they just are. they just live.
and remembering those words felt all nice + sweet… for a moment.
then, i remembered this fucked up world we lived in. and i caught myself thinking how naive it was for me to want to just exist like the birds + the flowers.
i mean, can i really live like that? can i really just be me? can i really be so into being who i am and staying true to my spirit, as the birds are, that life just flows and everything will be ok? it sounds all nice + hippie + utopian. but, really? i mean, really?
it seems unrealistic. and selfish, honestly. to just live in peaceful bliss, communing with nature, while lives are torn apart and people are suffering all over the world, and it feels like there ain’t a damn thing that anyone can do about it all.
am i not supposed to be doing something? can i really just be like a cute little birdie?
shouldn’t i be running about volunteering or sending money somewhere or bitching about some program or group of people or leader? shouldn’t i constantly be using hashtags that say #prayfor_____ or protesting police or fighting for lgbtq rights or not buying clothes in sweatshops?
there’s so freaking much that i should be doing. am i right? how in the world can i prioritize just being me?!
and, then i think of the bird again.
she is not insignificant in this world. in fact, she (yes, i am calling her a she now) is doing her part in creating this world just by being her little birdie self. she actually is contributing.
this is what i know, dear friends:
i don’t know shit about solving the problems of the world, or how to stop the hurting and aching and fear that makes this place hell on earth for some of us.
but, i do know beauty. and love. and i do recognize messages of hope that simply pop up in everyday life – like a single bird bathing outside my kitchen window at just the same time i take part in my daily morning ritual of gazing out that window + drinking my glass of water.
but, more than knowing all of that, i know me.
you know that phrase, “be the change”? well, that’s the shit. it may be cliché + overused. but, it’s the real deal. that’s where we begin… with ourselves.
that’s what the little bathing birdie reminded me of this morning.
in spite of the horror in nice, france and the attempted military coup in turkey last night… in spite of racism and gun violence and inequalities and injustice and natural disasters and poverty and, yes, even death.
in spite of it all, in the midst of it all, my calling and your calling and the little birdie’s calling, is to simply be who we are. to truly, truly be who we are.
and, i guarantee, that when we are true to ourselves, to our spirit, to the light + love that we are, then everything that we do will be an act of peace. everything we do will be a response to the pain + suffering, and we will be co-creating the world to be the world as it should be. everything we do will align us with the truth, with love and equality and justice. we will, ourselves, become instruments of peace and messengers of love.
just as that little bird was for me this morning.
when we live authentic lives, my friends… mindful, intentional and aware, then peace + love flows naturally out of us.
and that, my friends, is how we change the world. one soul, one bird, at a time.
namaste. xoxo. liz