top of page

every soul a bird

i didn’t want to start the day. that’s how i ended up on the couch anyway; a compromise: get out of bed, take a book, drink water, lay on the couch. which turned into droopy eyelids and the illusion of more time. an abrupt jostling of my shoulder crumpled up my illusion and discarded it behind the couch so i blinked my eyes open towards the window and the silver maple behind it. the leaves accented that almost gray, almost blue, almost white, almost lavender morning sky and i thought this an idyllic moment to practice mindfulness and thankfulness and silence in the presence of nature, so i steadied my breath, an internal metronome to the rhythm of the branches strumming the wind and i noticed the robin in the corner of the window sitting on a branch, just high enough for the orange to be singularly illumined by the rising sun behind our house. i love birds, i thought, and prepared to settle into the corner of the couch and watch this bird, this gift just for me, to contemplate existence and exude gratitude for as long as this robin would allow. how mag----and then it sprung from the branch and out of sight in what felt like a gross act of injustice. i was just getting comfortable, we had only just begun, i hadn’t fully relished in this moment. my longing for the bird to stay struck me —is this what time is like, how time and space are experienced by god? the span of twenty-three seconds, in which a bird alighted upon a branch, cocked its head, and leapt away, is that what the span of a relationship looks like to god? is the bird like a friend, who drops into your life just long enough to elicit joy and thankfulness and wonder and then fly away freely, leaving you empty and disoriented? but the bird is not for you, not to stay, not to own. only to cultivate wonder and hope and humility and faith. every soul a bird, every heart a branch, every moment a single, fleeting point in time, every year only a moment. every glimpse a grace, every flight a practice. in loving and letting go.

bottom of page