Yesterday as I was leaving work for my spiritual direction appointment, I noticed a sticky note on the front office door. It suggested I proceed with caution so I slowly eased my way toward the outside only to spy a small bird standing in the middle of our sidewalk.
Based on my research, our new visitor was a male cedar waxwing. He perched on the sidewalk in a stunned state as if not knowing what to do next. I sat down in front of him, and he sized me up quickly as something bigger and more threatening than he anticipated seeing, I’m sure. I thought I might try to help so I spoke gently and slowly reached out. He looked at me, open his beak, and warned me with his best hiss.
I snapped a quick photo then texted a friend who knows birds for a quick consult. He suggested I leave him be and that he would be fine.
As I meditated last night on my spiritual direction session, I began to discern a parallel with that waxwing. Sometimes in life, we take a wrong turn or deal with something unexpected, and, whoa, we are caught off guard. We become stunned like that little bird and aren’t sure what do to next. It can be a bit uncomfortable or even unnerving, especially when it is only ourselves who can find the path back to where we need to be.
I realized that my friend’s advice had been spot on–that sometimes, it’s just Time that can help prepare us to get back to the journey, and that is ok. Pausing in those moments to reorient graces us with opportunity if we are willing to be open to it.
The biggest challenge–not anticipating what is to come, but rather allowing the present to be what it is.
Sure enough, when I returned a couple of hours later, the visitor had departed. I peaked in and around the cedar bushes and ferns to see if he was safely tucked away somewhere, but he knew better than I where his journey would take him, and he had traveled on.