Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sitting on the Ledge

  I often learn about myself and human nature in general, observing the creatures that i share the planet with.  Just the other day i heard a rattling sound that seemed to be coming from my woodstove. This usually indicates that a bird has somehow flown down the chimney pipe and is struggling in an inch or two of (luckily) cold ash. I have never figured out how or why they do that.
     I carefully opened the stove lid. Yup. There it was, a small grey bird, a little finch of some kind almost the same color as the ashes. I closed the lid, got a small towel and tried to gently capture him so i could release him/her out into the blue sky from which she came.   
    No such luck. She flew past me, hit the wall, fell to the floor, stumbled for a few minutes and then flew up onto the ledge of the clerestory that runs the southern length of my home.The clerestory is a 50 ft expanse of glass, made up of 7 separate windows, that provides solar heat for the house in the winter.
    Our cat, startled by the commotion and my involvement in it, decided not to chase the bird, and ran and hid in the bedroom! A decision I very much approved.
   Now I had a small bird throwing herself repeatedly against the glass.
   i tried to coax her off the ledge with a straw broom, but only succeeded in displacing quite a bit of dust onto the floor. I talked to her, "showing" her the open door just a few feet from where she sat on the ledge.  That did not seem to work either.
   I hoped she'd eventually get tired enough that i could use a ladder, pick her up with a cloth and take her outside.Then I gave the broom, and the bird, another chance. "Come on," I said with enthusiasm, whisking the broom along the ledge, "there's the open door, liberation awaits you!"
  Lo and behold, she hopped from one window ledge to another, flew to the open screen door, clung to it for a moment and then, when my back was turned, flew away.
   I've been seeing her since then, in the branches of a tree beside my house.
   I was reminded of a Mayan healer saying to me, "Rose, you bang your head against the wall, instead of walking through the door!" My response at the time was that I didn't see the door, otherwise I'd use it!
   I have many doors in my home, several of them lead outside.
   So i wonder, am I still inclined to throw myself against the glass, seeking the sky, but somehow not seeing the door that stands open, the way to life,  liberation and the spaciousness sky I seek?
   Are you? 

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