Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Up With The Birds July 14, 2014

It happens at the exact same time every day. 4:11 a.m. Whether there is a downpour of rain or the sun is shining, they are always there. Even when the snow flies, a few stick around. Birds. From the ground up, they are always there. At times I side with my mom and find them incredibly annoying. Like when they wake dear baby Carter up earlier than usual. Or my forever mom and dad for that matter. But, like most things, it’s which side of the coin you want to land on.Joy

Because at times, I side with my mom (she can’t make up her mind either) and find them incredibly calming. Peaceful even. I think that’s one of the reasons she has a newfound interest in bird watching in my backyard paradise. In addition to a bird bath or two, there are more feeders out than usual. And, unlike summers past, she has been diligent about keeping them filled to the brim with delicious concoctions of seed, including sunflower seeds that I occasionally snag from the ground by my favorite feeder in the far corner.

Today she was working from home over her lunch hour when it happened. It wasn’t anything that out of the ordinary. Yet there she sat on her favorite patio chair, typing away on that laptop of hers, shaded slightly by her happy orange umbrella (as she calls it) soaking up the sun with a mug of hot tea in hand. Carter was napping inside and I was curled in the shade up at her feet. It wasn’t much. A stranger would have missed it. But not me. She spotted the cardinal duo (male and female) that visits every day around the same time and sighed a big ole happy sigh that made my heart smile.

Sure, we as a family collectively curse those birds outside the windows when dear baby Carter wakes up before his normal time. Or when the chirping alone wakes my parents. But today I was reminded of what beauty is signified in the routine these dear birds have. It happens at the same time every day. 4.11 a.m. The weather doesn’t matter. The storms that rolled through yesterday are a thing of the past. Today is a new day. A fresh start. And that brings the sincerest sense of peace to my heart.

 

A Bird’s Eye View June 10, 2014

I find it’s more likely to happen when the skies are grey like a rain storm is coming. Then when it doesn’t I breathe a sigh of relief since I (like most dogs) don’t particularly care for the thunderstorms that occasionally accompany our summer days in my neck of the woods. They are loud and obnoxious and sometimes the thunder hurts my ears.

Dreaming a little dreamDays like today are interesting in their own kind of way because they remind me the slightest bit of the freezing cold doldrums of winter in the Midwest United States. Except in addition to the warmer temperatures, there is something present now that is not around in those times.

Birds. The more I observe them, the more I know it to be true. There is not much I envy about their lives other than this one thing. They can fly. I know that unless I ever travel a far enough distance with my forever people on an airplane, I will mostly likely never know what it’s like to fly. Sure, I hold my head out the window of a driving car with the best of them. And I’ve been known to clear three or four feet in a horizontal jump. But this is not the same as flying.

I thought of this today as my dear Aunt Morgan is on her way home from a far away place. As I type, she is waiting on a delayed flight out of Denver, Colorado, with no cell phone and no charger. At first I wondered what she would do with herself since she (like my dear forever mom) is terribly attached to that so-called Smartphone of hers. But that’s okay. I don’t need to talk to her to know what’s happening.

It’s a favorite past time of mine in fact. People watching. From the ground up, a lot can be learned from this tradition I’ve perfected over the years. I think I’ve learned more from observing people than people would even like to know.

One such lesson I’ve learned to take note of when the skies are grey and a rain storm is coming. Sure, when it comes to flight, it’s all relative. I say this both figuratively and literally, as I believe English humorist Douglas Adams may have said it himself.

“Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss,” he said. My perspective doesn’t need to be a bird’s eye view for me to know this as truth.