I came down the steps this morning and found my brother looking at his bird book. He looked perplexed so I asked him what was wrong. "I have a new bird I can't identify." Since I knew I couldn't help, I carried on with my morning but began to realize I too was perplexed: summer is almost over! Pretty soon all the summer birds will be going South, the squirrels will be done gathering nuts from our Walnut tree, and I'll need to switch out my summer clothes for sweaters and coats. Besides all that, I'm in the winter of my life and where is that warm, southern weather for a bird like me, and those nuts, where on earth where have I been storing them?
When one gets older, one looses some of one's memory as well as the desire to take on new journeys of any kind. In the past, I would have been concerned about this: I would have thought such things were important and the sign of a creative, industrious mind. But now there's a totally different emotion that's taking hold: one of large gratitude for all I've experienced in this small life of mine.
And my brother? He's just came in to report his bird findings: it was another starling! But one in "disguise" he said. My funny brother!
But isn't that just like life though: We've been told to expect one set of colors on our wings, one kind of shape and size of our small bird-being and then old age comes along and none of that really matters: We fly - or have flown - with what we've had. We do the best we can. And, if we're grateful, it's all a beautiful thing!
Maybe the transition from a beautiful summer to beautiful fall is not about how many nuts we've stored but what we've gained from our busy life; the one that's always involved thinking about the next step, the next challenge, the next trip to take or bill to pay. These things are about the summer of our lives. This year, this fall, I'm going to reflect on how far I've come, not the obvious tasks or tendencies.
What about you? What ever you do this fall, please don't run in front of car wheels looking for what might seem like a better Walnut tree. A really beautiful one is likely in your own back yard.
Love and peace,