I generally am not aware of birds except the two or three that are always perched on the power lines in back of our house. But this morning seemed arranged around birds.
I sat at my kitchen table eating my daily oatmeal, drinking green tea and reading the new book by Esther and Jerry Hicks, The Astonishing Power of Emotions (my normal very early morning routine). I looked up and was surprised to see a flock of birds circling over the house in the adjacent yard and beyond our block. There were probably 50 or so birds swirling in unison in pattern like the infinity sign. After a few moments I noticed a second flock flying in the same pattern and then a third. Now I had three separate flocks of birds flying in the same pattern but in separate groups. They suddenly disappeared out of my view and I assumed they had moved on. But as suddenly as they disappeared, they reappeared and this time in a united force of 150 to 200 birds flying in this interesting pattern. After a few loops, they headed south and were quickly gone. It was beautiful, breathtaking and fascinating, leaving me with a feeling of soaring with them. The thought “free as a bird” played around in my mind as I finished my chapter and put my dishes in the dishwasher.
A few minutes later my almost-four year old grandson came in trying to rub his eyes awake, still warm with sleep and looking for gramma. We snuggled a bit, I gave him some chocolate milk and we settled in to wake up slowly. I turned on a TV channel that I hadn’t seen before that was playing one of the few children’s programs I could find that wasn’t violent. It had some penguins doing space travel and a moral about getting along with others. Programs changed at the top of the hour and a new one came on. Really cute. Very informative. It had real live children interacting with life-sized puppets telling children about all kinds of interesting things. Nice, I thought, mentally patting myself on the back for finding something wholesome for Jack to watch and I settled in to blog for the few minutes I had.
They had a segment about a little girl who was afraid of birds and brought in a person from a zoo who came bringing birds with her – these birds could talk, play games and perform some interesting tricks. Their job was to show the little girl she didn’t need to be afraid of birds. They ended the sketch with a song that told the viewing children, “Birds are people, too.” My ears perked up. WHAT did they say? I must not have heard it right. But they sang it again, “Birds are people, too.”
“Jack, did they say ‘Birds are people, too?’” I queried my grandson, not believing I had heard it right.
“Yes,” he said.
“Birds aren’t people” I told him.
“Oh, yes they are!” he responded with absolute certainty.
I found myself in the unenviable position of trying to explain the difference between people and birds to a very wise, not-quite-four-year-old little boy. And when my son came in to retrieve his son for the bath-breakfast-get-ready-for-school routine I told him about the conversation so he could reinforce that birds are not people, too.
When things settled down I found it interesting to reflect on the birds of the morning. I can still almost see the fifty birds becoming 200 birds, circling in infinity patterns in perfect unison and then flying together out of my view. Perfect unity, flying as one.
If you understand the concept of energy then you can understand the concept of oneness. Because we are, in the final analysis, energy, we are one with all other creatures – human and otherwise, including birds. Divine energy encompasses and composes each of us. But we have our own uniqueness as a creation which differentiates humans from birds and snakes, kangaroos and bears.
Different and the same.
I went down screaming and kicking on this one when I first heard the concept many years ago. And like other things I rejected because “I already knew it all” I had to recant, reconsider and allow myself to wrap my mind and heart around the concept. Why don’t you reflect on it, too? Come to your own conclusions. It’s a magnificent concept and worth hours of reflecting.
In the meantime, “Jack, birds are NOT people, too.”