Unlikely Sucess

Today, Jack alerts me to a beautiful bird in the Weeping Cherry.

He talks to the bird with that strange broken meowing sound, moving his jaw rapidly.  I’ve wondered for years why cats make this sound when they look at birds. 

My husband tells me that cats imagine eating the bird and therefore make munching sounds with their mouths.

Jack’s on the hunt, imagining success.  Would a cat ever capture a bird like this?  Unlikely.  Would a cat with one eye, indoors, catch a bird like this?  Never.

Still, the cat munches.  Still, he visualizes success.

Maybe one day.  The confidence of my One-Eyed Cat inspires me.  The bird flies from the tree, uncaught, and Jack, undaunted, settles under the lights of the Christmas tree.  Maybe, in his mind, he simply let the bird go. 

Oh, Jack, you crazy cat, living with flair, in lights for all to see.  You don’t give up.  We won’t either.      
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Happy Saturday!  Are you inspired to persevere today? 

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Keeping Hope Alive

Yesterday, this little girl (the one who lost her first tooth) brings home a homemade bird feeder.  She announces that the bagel was “a rotten one, leftover from her teacher’s kitchen,” and the birdseed and spread cannot be eaten by humans. 

Noted.  

We hang the bird feeder on the winterberry bush.  And we wait.

And we wait. 

We wait, wait, and wait some more. 

I read somewhere that it takes backyard birds a few days to find a new feeder. 

All day today, we stop every few minutes and glance out the kitchen window just in case a bird has arrived.  We talk about who might be the first to catch sight of that first little bird. 

No birds yet.  But the desiring of them, the wait, delights us. 

We remember another wait, last April, for a hibernating turtle to emerge from underneath our deck.  It feels just like that, this waiting, and we love it.

It feels like the wait for a first loose tooth. 

I want to construct more apparatuses designed to teach me the beauty of hope.  A backyard bird feeder reminds me to hope today.  I wait patiently with my daughters, peer into the landscape ahead, and keep our longing alive.  Tomorrow might be the day! 

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Journal:  What am I hoping for, and how do I keep my hope alive? 
 

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2 Secrets of the Wandering Albatross

Last night, my daughter wins a book about winged creatures at the school’s Bingo Night.  We read all about butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, flying squirrels, bees, and ladybugs.  Then, I turn the page and learn about the magnificent Wandering Albatross.

I learn that the Wandering Albatross stays in flight for months without landing.  I stare, stunned at the page, as I consider the lonely, distant travels of this bird who never finds a secure place to land.  And even when she does, the awkward bird tumbles over her own feet, crash-landing into the others, and somersaulting several times before finally standing.

She prefers the flight to the landing.  

I have to check my facts this morning.  Is it true that this bird stays aloft for months?   How is this even possible?

I discover that the Wandering Albatross has the largest wingspan of any living bird.  I also uncover the bird’s secret:  she knows how to sharply swing into air currents to let the wind blow her to great heights. She lets the wind do the work for her. 

As I consider the Wandering Albatross today, I realize how often it feels as if we wander–for months–unsure of where to land.  As lonely travelers, we struggle to stay aloft.  And we must.  Our survival depends upon our ability to soar in the midst of our wandering.  Sometimes, there’s no land in sight.

You spread wide your arms, turn sharply into the wind, and you let it carry you to great heights.  I think about a life lived with God’s power.  I think, too, about adversity being a stronger air current.  I throw myself against it, leaning hard against the Lord.  What a magnificent flight!

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Journal:  When I feel like a Wandering Albatross, how can I widen my embrace and learn to use adversity to carry me to higher places emotionally and spiritually? How can I remember to see God as the air current that “does the work for me” today? 

(photo, “Wandering Albatross” from photolib.noaa.gov, by Lieutenant Elizabeth Crapo, NOAA Corps.  Photo taken in the Southern Ocean, Drake’s Passage)

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