Saturday, July 24, 2010

How Would You Live Then?

A Male Northern Cardinal (Member of Family Cardinalidae along with  Grosbeaks)


What if a hundred rose-breasted

blew in circles around your head?  What if

the mockingbird came into the house with you and

became your advisor?  What if

the bees filled your walls with honey and all

you needed to do was ask them and they would fill

the bowl?  What if the brook slid downhill

past your bedroom window so you could listen

to its slow prayers as you fell asleep?  What

the stars began to shout their names, or to run

this way and that way above the clouds?  What

you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves

began to rustle, and a bird cheerful sang

from its painted branches?  What if you
suddenly saw

that the silver of water was brighter than the

of money?  What if you finally saw

that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all

and every day -- who knows  how, but they do
it -- were

more precious, more meaningful than gold? - Mary Oliver



this week I had a conversation with someone who asked "What is it you
want?"  I answered:  "I would have that singing cardinal come
down to the screened in porch where we are sitting and ask to be let in. Then
she would come sit on my arm and allow me to touch her."  My friend suggested this would be against the
bird's telos and if a bird did such as this, we would lose his or her's
wildness.  I believe my friend was
arguing that the bird is so very precious just the way she is, if we could but just
see her as such. I believe that I too was arguing the same thing. I just did so
by telling a fantasy story about a bird who desires to be with me, for that is all I
desire - to be with birds, to be birds. To be centered with such heart centered
awareness in every moment, that's how I would live!


How would you live if you could
see the beauty around you in every moment as if it were a fantastical dream, so
very wondrous because it is not a dream, but reality?











  1. I believe my grandmother had such a relationship with birds. And the birds did not lose their wildness, it was my grandmother who had regained hers. We humans tend to forget that we are not separate from nature but rather are part of nature. It is in our forgetting that we then seek to dominate and control instead of realizing that we are part of the integral whole. If any part of that whole is injured, we are all injured. May we all remember our true relationship.

  2. Oh, I like that. We aren't taming the birds as much as they are wilding us.
    How goes your vacation? It'll be great to see you in Canton, MS in a month's or so time.