It was beginning to get a little warmer. The daylight stayed around longer so the kids could play outside after school. Birds chirped in the morning. Alighting on a top branch, a little black bird, rubbed its beak on the branch. “Hello, this is so and so. How is everything at your end ? I guess there are buds coming out of your dry branches? Buds bring hope of new spring flowers. Hope thrives on when you never gave up… even when the blizzard hit you incessantly with a bunch of soft cold flakes and covered you with a numbing blanket. Do you keep alive the dreams of new possibilities of tomorrow ?”
A teenaged girl stood on her porch, against the railing, staring ahead. She looked sad and frustrated with her life. The trees would make rustling sounds to soothe her. She would sigh deeply and look at the blue sky. She would see the birds flying carelessly or cooing to each other sitting on a branch. Just looking at them she knew they were happy. Secretly she wished to be one of them. At that time, she did not quite understand what was so liberating about being a bird. It was not the beak. It was not the wings. It was not the flying. It was not even the descent to perch on a branch. It was palpably there when it was pouring cats and dogs and they were hanging on to the wet slippery branch all drenched and foolish, waiting for the rain to stop. The birds were not really enjoying the rain but they were not terrified or worried. Instinctively, they would sometimes scoot over for more foliage cover or glide down to the lower branches where their friends were huddled together. Simply put, they accepted the situations as they came. There was no conflict or confusion. What came must be faced.
Brirds have friends but they are free. Brids have kids but they are on their own , most of the time. No one really belongs to anyone and each one belongs to the surroundings.
Another day as the little girl stood on the porch with her routine worries and fears, she noticed that a bird had got caught in a thread. A few days ago, the wind was perfect for flying kites. A bunch of neighborhood kids were flying kites. One of the kites had got entangled in a nearby tree branch. The kite was retrieved but some of the thread was still caught on the tree branches. One of the bird’s wings had slipped through the mess of sharp piercing threads and the poor thing was trapped. She cried for help as she flapped her wings vigorously. Her companions heard the cry and came in a large group to help. The wing was deeply entangled in the threads, that were specially made with glass dust and glue over it to cut other kite threads. The flock of friends failed to free the little bird. After a few tries they flew away.
Did the bird ever think like the sad girl on the porch would have ? “I am having a terrible day! First this and then that. Nothing seems to go my way. How can I ever feel that I have control over my life? I cannot think of any way to stop disasters from happening. I am terrified as I am about to fall into a bottomless abyss. ” But instead the bird might have thought, “I have already fallen in the abyss. I guess there is no way out after all. I just need to surrender! Who knows what the next moment may bring ?”
As days went by the bird was silent. Out of curiosity the girl would come and check on her every morning. The bird would sometimes flap her wings, indicating the remnants of hope. After a few more days the flapping also stopped. Finally one day, the bird hung there from the tree branch swinging in the breeze without any resistance. A sharp pang went through the girl’s heart as she realized that the carcass was lifeless. It took almost a month for the body to decompose and disappear completely. The other birds did not make a big deal. It was not the end of the world for them. There was no lingering lamentation. They let their lives flow on without any judgement, being a bird, natural, carefree and of no particular importance…… being a bird, thoughtless, fearless and soaring high in freedom.