So 3 weeks ago was the coolest drive home from work ever. I work overnight shifts, so I’m used to getting off work before the sun comes up. But this particular day, I had to be at work late, and I left with the sunrise. As I drove home, I noticed something that amazed me.
Thousands upon thousands of birds in the sky, all traveling north…pink filled sky, warm weather…I drove 7 miles with bird-filled skies; all of them flying in gleeful abandon in a pre-springtime parade.
They would swing up high to the left, then swoop back to the right, and criss-cross other birds, and each one would go a different way, but it was this “chaotic dancing in the sky” kind of pattern. As I pulled into my apartment lot, I shut off the engine and just sat there and continued to watch the sky. They kept coming. There was never a break and they kept coming…probably hundreds of thousands had passed by this time, and no end in sight. It was a little creepy, yes…like Alfred Hitchcock’s crows meets Cinderella’s singing canaries. But at the same time, this beautiful thought came to me.
See, it had snowed 2 days before. The day after it snowed, it was slightly warm (you Nashvillians probably remember this day, it was so random). Then this particular morning (day after), it was completely sunny and 60 degrees at dawn.
What if those birds thought it was already spring? …that winter was over and it was time to return from the south… joyfully welcoming themselves back home?
I’ve never seen anything like it. After 5 long minutes of sitting in my car staring at the birds, I finally gave up and realized there would be no end for a long time, and I needed sleep…so I went inside.
What’s so cool about those birds, is that I could relate to them at that moment (and still do, to my surprise).
OK, I’m not obsessed with springtime, I promise…I know I have the song that proves that I am… but here’s the thing. Once again, a season has changed in my life, and a winter I never thought I’d get out of, has melted away. I am ecstatic about it. Will it stay that way? Will it be sunny for a long time? I don’t know. But I’m going to start living with my heart again (not only my brain), and I’m not going to be afraid of having joy, and being optimistic. Call it getting in touch with your childhood…I just think it’s how life should be lived.
The problem with joy is that it’s naive. If you put stock into joyful feelings, you will be living as if the future looks bright, as if life will work out as it should, and have faith that the sun will continue to shine, even on cold days. Now, I was in the same predicament those birds were in 3 weeks ago. They were taking a huge risk, making the trip all the way back home after hearing about one day of sunshine (however they do their communication). Well, I was marveling at their faith, wondering if the sun would really stick around. …And it’s 28 degrees right now, and cloudy. I don’t know where the birds are. But the cool thing is that they came, parading back into the city in all their glory, and really lived…*really lived* for that whole dramatic dance in the sky. (for all the minutes, hours, and days that it took them to travel).
And it will be spring soon enough…and perhaps they will laugh at themselves down the road and just chirp about how much fun that parade was. (…work with me, people.)
What I’m realizing is that really living is worth it… and it means shutting off my brain to the cynicism that’s ruled it for so long. To live life with intelligent happiness…(even if it seems like a paradox, to make that my goal). To actually chase (like fly with gleeful abandon) after my dreams, instead of moping around with guilt and insecurity and being ok with this soft nest I’ve built for myself…to hide in.
For me, it meant getting in touch with the whole reason I exist again… to shine. And to only have to please one person; that is, the One who pursues me the most, who can’t wait for me to get started on actually trying the abundant life.
Because when you’ve tried everything else, it’s funny how the thing you thought would give you a boring life – ends up being the way to freedom.
…God is hidden like that. 🙂
Currently reading : The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God By Brent Curtis Release date: By March, 2004