It felt sweet to take a moment to swing in the hammock and gaze at the treetops, watching how the wind dances through the branches. A pair of tree swallows came into view, circling and darting under an amazing blue sky. Their sounds and synchronized flashing movements drew me in. As the sun shown on their deep blue backs, I was mesmerized at what seemed to be joy manifested.
Unexpectedly, the lead swallow found her way head first into a picture window on the meetinghouse. She dropped to the deck face down. Her mate circled above her, making a pleading sound as if asking, “Are you ok?” There was no response. It got very quiet and still, such contrast from a moment earlier when such vibrant sounds and movement were surrounding me.
Everything was perfect and then “life happened” and it all appeared to change. Mind would say so. It seemed the bird had died and so did this pair’s chance to bring new life into this season.
When have I been going along swimmingly, then a sudden change happens and I get knocked off course? The example that comes to mind is when “my” partner decided to move out after 9 years of marriage. My picture window was the belief that we would last forever, just as the swallow believed the glass was open space. I, too, slammed right into it, falling face down. My mind argues with what is happening at times, until I realize how Life is happening for me. My job is to trust what is happening and even find love for it.
I slowly walked over to where the bird lay to check on her... only to find she had flown off and was still alive! All was well. The next morning, I saw them darting through the sky again, going about their lives, building the nest inside the birdhouse, and being the joy they are. This was such an amazing model to me, just a beautiful expression how Life is friendly and will always Live through us.
I found my way through the sudden life change and have begun a new life that I am grateful for. No matter how it turns out, no matter what my opinion in the moment, there is always good to be found in this kind and friendly universe~ lesson I still need reminders for. Thank you tree sparrows.
Jen Deraspe, is the founder of Nurture Through Nature, an eco-retreat center in Denmark, Maine. Jen is a certified yoga instructor, a licensed Maine guide, and a certified coach and facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie. She has been leading holistic nature retreats since 1999. www.ntnretreats.com, (207) 452-2929.