Monday, June 13, 2011

The Island of Birds

I laid down next to my son for a nap Sunday afternoon.  Wrapped up with him and holding his hand, I drifted off.  The birds, a place I visited quite a long while ago, invited me back to share their island with you.  This post is a combination of my experiences on the island and of the message they shared.

The sun has burned off the curtain wall of fog for the moment and the sky and sea are crisp, blue and sparkling.  Ahead of you, on the horizon, is a lush green island with a strong line of sandy beach separating the land the water.  Birds are silhouetted against the sky as they fly.  This is the Island of Birds.

As your craft settles on the soft, warm sand, you become aware of birdsong surrounding you. Many types of birds are singing and calling and the sound is both strong and melodious.  Look around at the many birds.  Some are combing the beach for stranded sea life.  Others are foraging through the brush and grasses eating seeds and insects.  Large colorful birds nest in trees alongside more mundane looking birds.  Some are scavengers, removing flesh from the dead.  Others are delicately extracting insect invaders from trees.  Birds of prey and harmless plant eating birds coexist on this island.

Notice that each type of bird has it's own way of living and subsisting.  It's niche is easily defined and equally important to the health of this island.  Each individual fits into the ecosystem and the cycles of life.  Important lessons abound on this island; diversity and cooperation are obvious, but more importantly, these birds on this beautiful, green island have mastered the arts of balance and adaptation.  Each species exists, secure in the knowledge of its neccesity.  All creatures on this island understand and respect the importance of giving and taking- both are required, but never too much or too little.  They understand their own interconnections and to each member of their species, to the island community and to the Earth.

What is your niche in life? You have a purpose, have you found it?  Do you understand it and can you be satisfied with that knowledge?  Don't worry if the answer is "no", but try to appreciate that you are part of something greater than yourself.  Another set of questions to ponder- do you give and take from life in equal measure?  Can you learn to be better balanced?  Have you learned to adapt?  Balance and adaptation are important to creating happiness in your life.  They allow you to grow, to change and to really live.  They are important tools against disappointment, fear, anger and apathy; in times of disaster, they can lend comfort and strength.  In times of happiness, they are mere trophies.

Explore this island and watch with curiosity, like a naturalist studying a new environment.  Learn about the balance of nature and of specializations.  Take notice of the many ways in which this island illustrates balance and diversity.  Once you fell you have begun to understand, return to your ship and continue with your journey.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm still here

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that I haven't forgotten about this blog.  I have journeys that I am in the process of writing; I'm just having difficulties with finding the right words.  Soon a new segment of the journey will be up for you to experience.  Please be patient with me.