The past two days have been filled with unusual bird sightings for me. The humming bird, blue heron and a hawk of some sort aren’t actually unusual, but how I saw them was.
First the blue heron. I’m coming back from knitting club, I’ve gone to New Leaf to do shopping and now I need to figure out when I’m going to pick up my CSA box from Two Small Farms. The schedule says that the boxes will be ready for pick up after 12:30. Now, I’ve been getting this CSA box for several years now and I know that I can pick it up as early as 11:30, but at the moment that I was driving up Western Drive, it was 10:30. And yet, I decide to just try to see if the veggies are there, because it will just make my life a whole lot easier to pick it up in the morning.
I’m driving, thinking about the best way to get there, and I decide at the last minute to turn right on Meder Street. Not my normal route at all, but I turn. As I’m driving past Meder Street park, I notice that there is a very large bird standing in the middle of the grass. I slow down, turning to look, and decide to pull over and get out my camera (actually it’s my Droid, but there’s a camera function on it.) I stop. I park. I walk quietly towards the bird. Quite near the bird is the basketball court. There’s a couple of people playing HORSE, so I can hear the ball bouncing off the ground, off the backboard. That unique pinging sound a properly inflated basketball has on asphalt and wood. If I can hear it, the bird certainly can hear it, and yet it’s paying them no mind.
The bird – I’m pretty sure it’s a blue heron – is standing there. The wind is ruffling the black feathers on the top of its head. It turns to look at me and then turns back facing away from me. I don’t what it was looking at, or moving towards, but it was walking, slowly, away from where I was. I moved up quietly, trying not to startle it. We stood about 15 feet apart for several minutes. I had put my phone back in my pocket. Trying to take a picture was futile, and besides I wanted to be with the bird. Eventually the bird turned and flew off, so I got to see it in flight as well. The people playing basketball never did appear to notice the bird.
I get back in my van and drive off to see if I can get my veggies. They are, in fact, there and ready to be picked up, so I park and gather them up and head back to the van when I hear the distinctive chit-chit sound that a hummingbird makes when it’s just sitting on a branch. Normally, at least with the hummers who live near me, I can either hear them, or I can see them, but never both. But I look up and in the branches of a tree in from of my vehicle is this Rufus Hummingbird, sitting and chitting. So I stop again, and take in the sight of this beautiful bird. Smiling broadly, as I love hummingbirds.
And then today, as I was driving home from Martial Arts, I head up into the wooded area on my way home when, darting directly in front of my van, is some sort of large bird of prey. Beautiful russet chest with white splotches and white stripes running sideways on the wings (kind of like a stripe around one’s biceps). It flew directly across my path, barely six feet in front of me. Startling me completely. (Well, not completely completely. I didn’t lose control over the car, but you know what I mean.)
So I come home and I open my Medicine Cards book. To see what the animals have to say to me.
The Blue Heron is about self-reflection. “Heron medicine is the power of knowing the self by discovering its gifts and facing its challenges.” This seems particularly pertinent given my Martial Arts testing. Not in the realm of the actual test, but rather in the psychological test that went with my starting with Martial Arts in the first place. I have been learning a lot about myself through this process. I’ve been learning about how I learn. I’m getting better at ignoring the one in my head who berates. Sometimes those thoughts come out as little ticks (a snort of derision, a flap of my hand, etc), but those are happening less and less. And frankly, when I started, there were whole sentences that came with the snort or the flap, so the fact that I’m down to short sounds or movements feels like real improvement to me.
The Hummingbird is about Joy. “Hummingbird can give us the medicine to solve the riddle of the contradiction of duality.” This feels appropriate because I feel like I’ve been living in the midst of duality, staring it in the face daily. The duality or paradox of being feminine and masculine at the same time, the duality of life and death, the paradox of feeling of this world and not of this world simultaneously. The duality of having profound thoughts in my head and being completely unable to express them in any meaningful way. . . (Laughing at myself here.)
Hawk is the Messenger. “You are only as powerful as your capacity to perceive, receive, and use your abilities.” Again, feels very pertinent to today and this journey that I’m on. “Observe the obvious in everything that you do. Life is sending you signals. Life is the initiation.”
So, know myself, experience the joy of duality and observe the obvious.
Birds of a feather. . . huh?