I am not sure how long he had been here but his weakened state told me it had been awhile. How long can a bird go without water? How long before captivity takes its toll? Does a day feel like a year to a little bird? The garden is 100% enclosed with chicken wire but the cardinal managed to find a way in lured by the seeds of lettuces and strawberry plants. His plumage blazed fiery red yet his wings lacked the strength to carry him for more than a short burst of flight interspersed with hops along the ground. I wanted to help him.
I opened the garden gate wide and walked to the far end where the little bird huddled in a corner. My strategy was to get behind him and encourage him to move to the gate and freedom. He was not the first bird to become trapped in the garden and I had used this approach successfully before but this bird didn’t understand the program. My looming presence terrified him as he struggled his way along the fence edging to the gate until he hit the corner which confused him. He reacted as if boxed in on all sides until I gently nudged him with the toe of my shoe towards the open door. A brief burst of flight carried him past the door without going through and he found himself in another corner.
I walked over to give it another try and he took off flying back into the center of the garden. We went around and around a few times and for some reason he kept missing the open gate. I could see his efforts drained him and I began to worry that his little heart might burst from sheer fright. Finding himself once again in the corner, this giant human standing over him, he became frantic punching his head against and through the wire, harming and blooding himself.
“Let me help you little one.” I slipped on my garden gloves and gently scooped him up in my hands. I might have been holding the wind his body was that light but the weight of another life was heavy on my heart.
“I’ll set you outside the gate.” I whispered to my open hands and with the energy of those words his wings launched his fragile body into the air and through the gate. Emotion swept over me. Watching the spread of those tiny wings lifting up and out of my hands, it was as if I had given birth. “I saved a life.´ I thought but that wasn’t it. I was aware of life in that miraculous instant.
This happened a few days ago and while there are numerous cardinals, finches, and doves living outside my door, I can’t know if any one of them is my cardinal. He left me behind but the image of his courageous flight stays with me. He taught me a profound lesson. I know releasing fear is necessary to move forward in life but what if that isn’t working? What if, no matter how hard you try, you keep banging your head against a fence becoming bruised and bloody, compounding your fears until you can no longer think? Let life help you find a new way. Let Spirit help you fly leaving those fears behind.
Like my cornered cardinal I find myself at a crossroads these days. I thought I would be here on the ranch for a year. A year has come and gone, business continues and I go along with the flow. I am not bruised or bloody but there is a knowing that something else is coming and along with that comes the fear of more change. It occurs to me that the ranch has been my own enclosed garden of sorts, isolating me from the rest of the world. Oh, I get out now and then, drive into town for supplies, meet with my writing group, have dinner with friends but when it comes down to it, nestled at the foot of the mountain the events of the world have no relevance here. I am shut away, opening my garden gate when visitors come, ushering them around the beauty of this place and then closing the gate when they leave. The isolation lulls me and also makes me itch. And I ask myself, what do I want?
I want to give birth…birth to the book I am writing. I want a publisher to notice my work and like it. I want to be encouraged to polish it up, get it done and up and out by the end of this year. I want to be a published author, the kind of published author that is sold in book stores. I want to hold my book in my hands and say I did this. I want people to read my story and know that even though I stumbled, sometimes horrifically, I managed to find my way to living a spirited life. I want people to read my story and know that the love of Spirit is unconditional. I want to live a spirited life. By that I mean a life infused with spirit in each waking and sleeping moment, a life of deep intuition, guided by that inner voice so that every thought, word, and action flows with light and purpose for the good of self and others.
My vision tells me that there is a person right now out there reading my blog, a person who can help me, and a person who may or may not be able to help me personally but knows someone who can and will take the time to introduce us. My vision sees a book advance coming my way, one that will help relieve my debt and free me from financial burdens so I can focus on writing. My vision sees a man entering my life sometime this year. This man is good and kind, attractive to me as I am to him, and supports me in my creative endeavors. I have always pictured a small white house with a lovely yard and a wide front porch with a swing. The organic garden in the back smells sweetly of lilacs and tomatoes, and there is plenty of room for the dog and cat to play. A room with lace curtains at the window wafting in the gentle breeze as I sit at my desk and write. The supportive man comes in with a cup of chamomile tea, kisses the top of my head and asks how it’s going. And I say…
Good. Very good.