15 May 2015

Learning life lessons from a little bird

This morning I woke up quite late. As I was rushing to get ready to go to work, I stopped to look at Mount Banhaw from my windows.

I am quite lucky, as I can see the top of the mountain right from my window, and every morning I spend a few seconds looking at it. Whether it is sunny, cloudy, or rainy, the view is always incredibly uplifting; and every morning it reminds me of the beauty surrounding me if only I take the time to look.

This morning was a particularly sunny morning, typical of a Filipino summer, and the sky was clear of any clouds, and I could see the tip of the mountain in all its bright splendour. I took a deep breath, taking in this reminder of the astounding creation of God in which we live; and which I am particularly lucky to enjoy in the Laguna's countryside.

This view is a little constrained by the many rooftops surrounding my house in the heavily built up centre of the little town in which I reside.

On the roof of my neighbour's house, with the corner of my eye, I saw a little bird that attracted my attention. It was in the middle of the roof, and I sensed he was about to do something of which he was quite scared, so I looked more attentively.

The little bird started running towards the edge of the roof, as if to take speed before taking off. It was clearly the little creature's attempt to his first flight, so I stood there holding my breath and cheering on the little guy.

The little feathered friend got to a reasonable speed, and while I was expecting him to jump off, instead, he dug his little claws on the edge of the roof and like in a cartoon, he held himself back while most of his body was hanging down the edge of the roof, he looked down and took a step back.

Learning life lessons from a little birdAt this point, I noticed two more little birds on the thin top branches of a tree a few meters away from the roof edge. They were observing the little bird on the roof very attentively. As he was half dangling from the edge taking his step back, they started flapping their own wings very energetically, and jumping from branch to branch. They were obviously the siblings whose first flight I had just missed, and who were already experienced, compared to their little brother. They were trying to show him how to do it.

The little brother on the roof watched them for a few seconds, then he tentatively took a step off the roof flapping his wings very fast, a little like when a baby tries to learn to swim and energetically moves his arms following the example of his fellow swimmers. He was in the air for just one second, and jumped back on the roof straight away, but his confidence was obviously growing.

The siblings kept flapping their own wings, and jumping from branch to branch, this time however rising higher than earlier, as if to say "here you go, keep flapping and you can really fly"

So, the little creature on the roof tried a couple of times again to jump off the roof, but again jumped back on the roof, obviously not confident enough yet.

The siblings then joined him on the roof, and simply waited for him. They looked at him, he looked at them, and they looked at each other. They were patiently waiting for their little brother to take the big step, silently encouraging him.

A few seconds later our protagonist took a step over the roof, and flew to the nearby tree, quickly followed by his siblings. They then jumped from branch to branch a few times, and then disappeared in the distance all three flying like pros.

What a wonderful beginning of the day. A lesson for me, that with just a little encouragement from those who love us, we can take leaps that we find scary, but that can liberate us to be all that we can be.

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