Sunday, July 15, 2018

Leaving the Nest

I had occasion to watch a humming bird building a nest.  Every day, piece by piece, she created the nest.  It was perfectly protected in of all places, a huge thorny rose bush outside in my back garden.  Every day Ms. Humming bird flitted in, wings beating wildly, to add one tiny little piece of string, of fluff or a twig.  Then one day, she stopped building and then left a tiny little bluish white egg.  A day or so later, she added another.  Not so much flitting did she do after that.  You could frequently find her sitting on her nest wondering about how close you were going to get before she flitted off to safety.

I kept my distance and just observed the progress.  After what seemed like a few weeks, I saw something white on the outside of the nest.  It was a tiny little egg fragment.  Inside were suddenly
two tiny little humming bird babies.  Mama humming bird came by often and fed her little babies.  The babies grew.  They grew and they grew until you could easily see two little yellowish beaks peeking above the top of the nest.  Mama humming bird fed and fed and fed them until one day, you could clearly see two very big humming bird babies sitting in the nest with barely any room to exist.

Those days seemed like they went on for years with the babies getting bigger and bigger still.  One day, I noticed that the babies barely fit inside the nest.  Soon, they would begin to heed the call for flight.  I was so excited hoping I'd catch a glimpse of their flight.  I came home from work one day and one of the little babies was in fact outside the nest but sadly, she had fallen chest first into a very large thorn just above the nest.  The other baby was out and hiding somewhere else in the rose bush safely.  I continued to watch while keeping my distance.

The next morning as I was loading my car up for work, I noticed that the remaining baby bird (I called her Tweety, the other was Sweet Pea) had flown into the garage and sat shivering on the little rug in front of my dryer.  I was concerned about her but she seemed very healthy and I thought it best to let nature takes its course.  I knew she'd figure out how to fly out whether I worried about her or not.  When I came home from work that night, the little baby bird was no longer in the garage.  I couldn't see her anywhere.  For a day or two, she kept herself hidden.  Then, finally, I saw her perched on the line between the garage and my house that holds up a small awning.  She was so big that I worried she'd never be able to get her little wings to give her any lift.  She'd fly about for a little bit but she stayed right where she was most of the time.  Mama bird would flit in, feed her and then zoom off again.  Another mama humming bird with a baby came by and perched right next to her.  Tweety just watched them as they landed, took off, flew around her and then sped off.

For days Tweety just sat on that line holding on seemingly fearful of flight.  Mama kept feeding her and she stayed a big very healthy oversized humming bird for about a week.  Then, mama stopped feeding her.  Tweety stayed perched on the line,  only occasionally flying an inch or two as the wind made holding the line a little more difficult.  I noticed without mama feeding her she was growing thinner.   One day as I was walking to the garage, I noticed that Tweety was quite thin, very much less baby sparrow looking and much more humming bird looking. 
When I came home from work, she was gone.  It's been a week now and I've not seen her sit perched on the line.  I've not seen mama bird or any other humming bird perched on my patio.  I see and hear them as they whiz by though.  I was a little sad at the thought of Tweety leaving the nest but I was glad though too.  She made it.  She's off on her little nature-ific adventure.  With her gone, we finally removed the dead baby bird and I felt sad for that too.  But life is funny like that.  Mama humming bird laid two eggs and one lived on to expand the humming bird population.  I said a prayer of gratitude and took, for myself, a little lesson in life.  If you're a parent, you'll get it too.  If you stop feeding them, they'll seek to fly in search of food and shelter.  It is what they are called to do.  And after that, the only nest you'll need is one for yourself and you'll continue on as nature calls you to do.

© 2018 Jaie Hart (Photo and Words)

Ever-present Ever-presence

I’ve had dreams where I wander into situations that in waking life would be down right terrifying.  In the dream state, I just am.  There is no fear or thinking.  There is just moving through whatever scene I happen to be in.  Sometimes, I become aware in these dreams and I become curious about my lack of fear and my ability to just be solely focused taking part in whatever role I’m playing.  The sun is often shining and there is a sense of infinity about the presence that just is not perturbed in any way by the scene.

As I think about it honestly, I walk into many of the scenes of my life and play the roles that I play, not with a sense of indifference but with a wholeness and sense of ever-present-ness.  I can’t explain it.  There is a part of me that plays witness to all that I perceive.  It is a quiet and powerful part of me that is unruffled by the trials and tribulations of the ego.  It is non-competitive but just present.  It is this part of me that has allowed me to face some harrowing ordeals in my present-waking life.  It is that part of me that stands in the storm thinking, “okay, so this is a storm.”

When I can recognize this state of presence, I’m not caught up in the drama of life.  I can watch it not as a non-participant unattached and in woeful psychological denial, but as a participant fully present with infinite-seeming awareness that is pointedly focused.  In this place of presence, there is no fear and no anxiety.  There is no desire, there is no second guessing or worry about good enough or not good enough.  There is scene and role.  There is motion and sensing.  There is action but also-always extreme presence.

If I think about it too much, I begin to worry that maybe I’m doing this wrong, maybe I should be upset or I should fight back or well, whatever the normal human mind tries to come up with in judgment.  I observe this part of me too and another part of me knows just to witness those thoughts without sinking into them.  Maybe nothing surprises me any more?  Maybe I’ve seen so much that I just don’t react the same way any more?  Maybe, just maybe, I’m doing it right after all.?!  With such thoughts the witness in me stays ever-present, ever-neutral without a single ounce of judgment.  It is a magnanimous feeling place – it’s is like the perfect supportive character within.  It is wholly unconditionally present.  Curious maybe?  Knowing, a bit, maybe?  Caring some, yes, certainly.  But, never does that place within me succumb to egotistical emotion.

These facets I observe - the anxious and worried me, the fearful me, the confident me, the questioning me, the faithful and loyal me, the helping me…all of these facets are present in every moment.  It is just that in some moments the different facets take in and refract the light.  I still revel in the colors of the sunrise, a starry sky, a baby’s cry or the purr of a kitten.  A ways now past mid point in my life and all of those scenes and facets expressed, I’m comfortable in my own skin, no matter its present state…aging, battle scared and still supporting me.

Life is so funny.  It is truly like a dream and we can dive into the deep end of it and learn to swim.  We can flail at the surface or sink deep with that scary lack-of-oxygen feeling.  We can let go, relax into the flow of it all and just watch what unfolds and accept what comes.  We can fight, seek to control scenes and other actors or we can just see, experience and feel for the energy vibrating constantly beneath the superficial emotion of it all.  The TV can’t really tell us what our lives should be like, nor can our parents, friends or adversaries.  Your life is your dream and however you dream it is perfect in this much bigger sense.  There is a long game at play here and when you realize that and tap into the energy of that, you actually have more freedom to move from dreamscape to dreamscape enjoying the show for what it truly is so-to-speak.  Life is amazing and so very truly so.  I’m grateful for every experience in this life with the good actors and bad actors as judged by my ego.  My former selves did their parts perfectly with no need to worry or regret how their roles were played.  Well played self.  You’ve had a marvelous life of experiencing perception and finding beauty along the way.  It’s time for more coffee and to better appreciate this newly rising sun.  May your wanderings be fruitful and ultimately, enjoyable.  Bless.

© 2018 Jaie Hart (Photo and Words)