Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What? What?

I have a new hero and one that's maybe four inches tall.

We pulled into get gas at a station just outside the Quebec border. We had just had the nasty experience with the Courtyard Marriott in Ottawa and I was in no mood to see beauty or hope or inspiration, which was, of course, exactly the kind of scene into which the unexpected wanders. It was Joe who saw it, 'Quick look!' I glanced over the way he was pointing and I saw ... nothing ... no one.

'I don't see anything,' I said in my patented listless voice - my victim voice.

'There, there, right beside you,' he said, his voice full of excitement.

Now I get up and really look.

Still, I see nothing, no one.

'Right there,' he said frustrated.

Still, I see nothing, no one.

'Oh. My. God. Right in front of your face, on the bumper of that truck beside us."

I look and I see.

Oh. My. God. Indeed.

There was this little brown starling on the bumper of the truck. It had one leg, one eye and a wing that had seen better days. It was standing and stretching tall and eating bugs off the front of the truck!! It got the one it was reaching for and then hopped to the side and went for another one. It was patient and determined and very good at spotting and picking delectable treats from the grill of the truck. I was stunned.

The driver got in the truck and slammed the door, the bird sensing the motion hopped down, a considerable drop but it's wings worked well enough to get it safely down, and moved over to the side. We could still see it and saw that it looked quite well fed, quite content.

My spirits lifted. Simply lifted. This little tiny bit of life had obviously fought back through some trauma, some deep injury to body, and was still hopping along, getting along. Amazing, simply amazing.

When I was a child I used to envy a bird's ability to fly. I got that wrong. I now envy this bird's ability to just get on with it.

God may know when a sparrow falls, I wonder, if then, he applauds when a starling doesn't.

7 comments:

Kristin said...

God may know when a sparrow falls, I wonder, if then, he applauds when a starling doesn't.

Wow, that is a truly powerful line. I think it reminds me to appreciate all my small triumphs because God surely does.

Katy said...

So awesome. Every time I read what you've written, I come away determined to do better, try harder, whine less, and appreciate more. You remind me to be a better parent and appreciate my kids differences as a part of who they are, not a limitation. Thank you for that. Every day.

Shan said...

This one is awesome:

I now envy this bird's ability to just get on with it.

That's how I feel about so many, many, many, many things. And people. Oh for God's sake, will you GET ON. "Embrace your pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever."* But get over it and move on.

----
* Buffy has the best quotes ever.

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg said...

YOUR patented listless victim voice? I'm sorry, but that's MY patented listless victim voice. You can use it if you must, but I believe I invented it.

Gosh, no one ever gives me any credit. Wah. Excuse me while I wax listless about it.

But really, I should throw that victim voice in the trash. If the little starling doesn't need it, neither do I.

Thanks for the reminder. :-)

Susan said...

I'm glad God gave Joe eyes to 'see' when yours aren't working. And I'm glad he gave you the ability to tell the rest of us the story. What a team!

DaisyGal said...

here from Kristin's blog..and she's right...you're an amazing writer. :)

that bird has a lot of gumption...I wish he'd share. :) Thanks for that story.,it was wonderful.

Dad said...

My wife has worked with many children with Altered Abilities over the years, and I have been inspired and amazed at the "Starling" attributes of every one of them.

I think I have only ever met one person who fits the systematic view of us as sit around doing nothing waiting for handouts.

I believe life is not worth living unless you scare the shit out of yourself at least once each day and we should always be embarking on new adventures that Starling sure knows how to live!