A small bird flew into the reflecting glass of my front door. I was startled by a loud thump and watched a dark shadow plummet from the top of the door down toward the porch floor. I knew instantly that a bird had flown into the door confusing the reflection with the surrounding outdoors.
I hoped as I walked over to the door that I was mistaken. But there on the ground was a tiny bird, lying on its side, one wing pointing upward over a completely still body. It had the most beautiful bright yellow breast and I remember gazing at its size and thinking that it must have been just a baby. As I stood there staring at it I experienced a sadness and a certain feeling of loss. Moments later I wondered why. Why should such a thing make me feel noticeably sad when it never has before?
A thought that perhaps the bird had only stunned itself went through my mind. Maybe in a little while it would recover and fly away. I busied myself with household tasks and waited. One hour later I went back to the door hoping that I would not see the bird laying there. But it was still there, just as it was when I had last looked at it, except now the pointed wing had collapsed against its body. I knew that I should remove it from the porch right then but I didn’t want to deal with it, as if ignoring it would somehow change things, I suppose. Instead of disposing of the bird I walked out back to the garden where I stayed until sunset.
When I came back into the house there was just a sliver of light over the horizon. Outside my front door there was the steady and repetitive chirp of one lone bird. As I listened I wondered if the bird was calling out for a companion that was lying dead on my front porch. It disturbed me to the point that I closed the windows, shut the front door and allowed myself the excuse to deal with disposing of the bird “tomorrow”. None the less, I thought about the dead bird on my porch as I was trying to fall asleep and later I dreamed about birds.
I am writing this post because the bird is an event of synchronicity. It is a follow up to recent thoughts exploring why I have become so empathetic and emotional of late. Why do I experience the sadness of tragedy and the joy of love happening outside myself in emotional measures much deeper than I ever have before? Is it because I have fully accepted the concept of Oneness? Do I now fully understand that everything is part of the All in a way that is experienced beyond just speaking it?
I question who this new “Me” is. Who is this Me that has taken over my life? I have never been an emotional person. I did not cry at funerals, or during sad movies. I did not experience a profound sense of loss when the twin towers fell. Not that I didn’t feel sympathy, but I did not feel empathy…and that is the difference now. I feel the pain and joy of others in much deeper measures than I would have ever thought possible. Before whatever was experienced by someone else had little to no effect on me other than my acknowledgment of it. I was distant and disconnected. Now that has changed. Now I can experience emotions so full that I can become a sobbing sap watching a lost dog being reunited with its owner. I can watch a sad movie with tears streaming down my face, or feel my heart skip a beat when I see a child run into the arms of a parent returning from military service. And it goes on, and on. The once hard hearted, uncaring Me has become a witness to the experience of life in all its facets of love and pain.
Before writing this post, with thoughts of this dead bird lingering in my mind I read this in the Gospel of Mary:
Will Matter be destroyed or not? The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots. For the nature of matter is resolved into its own nature alone. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
It was another moment of Synchronicity. I believe I am experiencing the All. I felt the death of the bird in the encounter of the All. And more than that I am understanding most profoundly that the only thing that matters is love.