One afternoon this week as I sat in a cushy chair on the patio, I got a much needed taste of spring’s rebirth after the late snows we were privy to last week.
Robins and crows sailed through the backyard, some stopping to prance through the grass from time to time. (The dogs were at daycare so it was free reign for the rest of the wildlife that attempt to inhabit this half-acre we call home).
I’m not an expert on birds, but I even noticed a red bird right on a branch on the tree straight ahead of me. I can never be sure if it is a cardinal or not, but I like to think of that popular legend that when you see a cardinal, a loved one from beyond has stopped to greet you.
As I sat in my little corner taking it all in and listening to the sounds of spring, a robin whooshed in under the ceiling with some twigs in her mouth. She has been haphazardly throwing together a nest for her coming brood on our outdoor ceiling fan, and I was nothing but an unwanted intruder.
I watched as best I could as she arranged her twigs in her up-and-coming nursery then took off again. I took it Mama Bird doesn’t like to be watched in her home.
Well, neither do I, I suppose.
"They" say nature is healing.
I didn’t spend more than 10 minutes outside at that particular time. I felt bad and went back in the house, hoping Mama Bird would reappear and take some restful stock of her work.
Plus, I had to take this idea for some weekly ramblings and run with it while it was still fresh.
I would agree with “them” about the healing power of nature, especially for uber-sensitive souls like me. A few minutes outside watching spring come to life is a hearty dose of medicine for one who has suffered a temporary, but solid blow to her sense of identity.
When I think about the cold dead winter from which these animals and grasses and shrubbery are rising forth, and an extended one at that, I am reminded of the wisdom of the seasons and how even when they don’t come on time, when they do arrive, these birds have work to do and they don’t sit around thinking about how unfair the long winter was … they just get to work, driven by a force outside themselves to keep on living.
Sorry for that unfortunate, lengthy run-on sentence, editors and readers.
In any case, when I was out on the patio and became aware that I was taking all of the outdoor activity in through my heart and not through my head, it was obvious to me I had taken a giant leap forward.
I hope to make this sojourn outside a regular part of my day, and just sit and let the sights and sounds of nature sing to my being – maybe a little like the Seven Dwarfs in their focused labor – reminding me we’ve all got work to do and we’re all in this together.
SPIRIT MATTERS is a weekly column that examines spirituality in The Times' readership area. Contact Jerrilyn Zavada at firstname.lastname@example.org to share how you engage your spirit in your life and in your community.