I originally wrote this four years ago about a walk I took in August 2009. I wrote it in December of 2009 to be included in a Hope Book of encouragement in which family and friends shared stories and pictures and laughter with Mama and Daddy, as Daddy began his fight against Lymphoma.
Lately I’ve really gotten into cardinals. I love them–males and females. I can remember one flying across the bottom just before Evans Packing Shed on Highway 96 just about every morning on my way to work at Peach Area Child Care Center. I made it up in my head that the cardinal was a sign of good luck. I guess I felt like I could use it at the time. Recently on a rare time of running an errand at Blackberry Flats by myself, I saw a beautiful flash of red in one of the cedars. Breathtaking–and oddly comforting.
It’s interesting, because birds were always my sister’s thing–especially cardinals. But birds go way back for me. I remember Daddy telling me, while he was working to pull my tooth, some story about bluebirds in their mailbox when he was growing up. I couldn’t concentrate on the story because I just knew that when one of those birds flew out of that mailbox, my tooth was going to fly out of my mouth. That’s not how it happened though. But to this day when Daddy asks me if I remember the bluebird story (a different one), I first recall the mailbox one and think, “No, I was only half listening back then.”
Back on an August Sunday morning I went on a walk before the neighborhood woke up. It was a beautiful day. I finally heard someone else who was up–a woodpecker. Crazy thing, he was pecking at a metal light pole. When he realized I was close, he flew over to a tree,. I thought, “Well good, now he will figure it out, poor ignorant critter.” I walked a ways before I turned back toward home. By this time, the August heat was doing a number on me and the dew on the grass–steamy! I heard the woodpecker again, and would you believe that he was back on that metal pole?!
It hit me on the way home that I’m a lot like that crazy bird. I’m just that hard-headed. I will keep at something that maybe I wasn’t made to do. Even when I might be veered in a different direction, sometimes I still go back–determined to make it work. And that works out about as well as a woodpecker pecking at a metal pole. And it can be just as discordant.
The Other Bluebird Story
Daddy told me this one several times, especially after he became so sick.
It didn’t keep me from wanting to make him my top priority and
he didn’t quit reminding me where he wanted my priorities
to be. I’m thankful for how much he loved our children and how he
wanted us to focus on them even in the midst of what he was going through.
Sometimes remembering the strength of his spirit and
love makes me cry.
There was a Mama bluebird and four babies in a nest. One day
a bad storm was coming, and Mamd Bluebird knew it. She
decided to move her babies to safety. She didn’t
have time to get them all under cover, so she decided to move as
quickly as possible. She took the first baby in her mouth and flew
towards safety. “Oh Mama thank you so much for saving me first. When you
are old, I’m going to take care of you just like this.”
Mama Bluebird dropped the baby and went back for number two.
The same thing happened–“Oh Mama thank you, one
day I am going to take good care of you just like you cared for me.”
Mama Bluebird dropped it and headed back.
The same thing happened with number three.
When Mama Bluebird went back for number four, the
little bird sang out, “Oh Mama, thank you for taking such good
care of me. One day I will take care of my little ones just like
you took care of me.”
And Mama Bluebird and her baby flew on to safety.
And for those who can’t get enough of good bird stories, here’s a beautiful one from my friend over at Baddest Mother Ever–A Tuesday Kind of Miracle. I never get tired of reading it.