Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Sparrow's Situation...

"A long December...and there's reason to believe maybe this year will better than the last..." Posted by Hello

I woke up this morning to find my warm home in the midst of a frozen world. I looked with bewilderment at the two dogs lying beside my bed, and they looked just as bewildered. The two, a black lab and a pit pull, whose two very different personalities I believe represent the duality of my nature, are normally outside, by husbandly statute. I opened my bedroom door to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the happy screeches of my one-year-old son. As is my self-imposed tradition, my husband allows me sleep as long as I will on Saturdays, so I wasn't surprised to see that it was already 11 am. I didn't ask my husband why he'd let the dogs in--I could see the answer when my breath fogged the sliding glass door. I find it peculiar how I forget from year to year what winter looks like. It surrounds itself with a shock, as if it never expects to be seen again. There were icicles dangling from the tree branches and the bird feeders all over my back yard, and the birds were circling in, each trying to intimidate the next one into letting him have his turn at the sunflower seeds. The sparrows gave way to the cardinals, who gave way to the blue jays--the chain of being reinforces itself at all levels. The scene reminded of my early military days when I would order an extra slice of toast for the sparrows who landed on my gate at intervals between cars. It was my one unabashed joy all day to watch them flock around me like that. Of course, the bigger birds would inevitably scatter them there, as well. I would always make a silent comparison between my own and the sparrow's situation. At the time, I was just about the lowest rank that one could possibly be, and my drab green and brown uniform did nothing to aggrandize, to be certain. The pilots, however, in their bright flightsuits, would wince with mild inconvenience at having to slow down their BMW's long enough to show me their restricted area badges on the way to their jets. An hour would pass, and I would hear the engines begin to start, and then they would rumble down the flight line and over my gate, off to do important things. My feet anchored to the ground, I fed my sparrows more bread, and told them that I understood. A wild thing is quite aware of its surroundings, but never sorry for itself. I rose in rank, and eventually reached the point where I never had to work a gate again. But the ironic thing about rising to the top is that it transforms all of the hardships that you endured at the bottom to seem so much more pure and true, and all of the advantages at the top seem false, even fraudulent. When life gets even a little easier, it has a way of making you feel false and fraudulent. I look at sparrows now, and I have to give a reverent smile, not just for what they are, but what I was. Stong little keepers-on, keep on. I will always keep bread for you.

0 Things not left unsaid: