I sat down to write a good-bye note to 2016, but those damn words just got in the way.
The noise prevented me from hearing what I needed to hear and knowing what I wanted to say.
“Ignore the headlines and the tag lines…the news bites, the obituaries, the disappointment, and the despair,” I admonished myself. “Forget the anger and the hate. Find some joy in the grey landscape. It also takes light to be dim. Find it.”
I looked out the window. Since the clouds were coming together for a rain convention, the winter sky was the perfect canvas for the bare branches of an ancient dogwood tree. We had given her up for dead but decided to prune her a little and wait for another spring. Some of her limbs show signs of dying, but there’s new growth, too.
Three bird feeders hang from her lower branches and attract a lot of visitors when Mamacita the Cat is distracted in the barn.
At this exact moment, there’s a tiny bird, sitting all alone in her topmost branches. Nothing exotic but she’s there — grateful to have a safe tree branch, food, and some water close by.
I looked out the window again and within seconds, at least a dozen of her petite friends from the same tribe joined her.
And then, as if an alarm rang, the tree was full of cardinals, finches, sparrows and the original tiny scout — who flew closer to the office window and perched high in the pecan tree, observing her friends and neighbors devour the bird seed.
There it is.
In spite of the image we humans have as being the most highly evolved form of life on the planet, we often fail at being the smartest.
The day we stop fighting over the bird seed and welcome to the table those who are different from us is the day all the damn noise will cease.
And then we’ll hear what we need to hear and know what we need to say — if anything.