back to top

The Soft Knocking of Wind and Bird

by Lucky Garvin

I went to church today for the first time in too long. The timing was ‘coincidental’ [if you believe in such] as I had been recently reminded of a truth “To live inside, no beside the moment,” to not fail to enjoy the offerings of each moment, and let the next moment reveal in its turn.  `Don’t let yours be an unlived-in life.  In other words, experience the now; don’t skip ahead. This has special relevance for me.  If I’m not careful, even yet, – being aware of this pitfall – I may return my life to my Creator partly unused.

I was sitting here writing a few lines; and then watching idly outside my window.  Suddenly a fluttering in the corner of my view drew me in from my wanderings.  Then, I heard birdsong; and suddenly, with neither pealing bell nor prelate, I was in church.

Outside my desk window, there is a small patio made of treated lumber. The angled morning light duplicates in a shadowy signature the railing on my deck; the patio littered with a skittering of leaves: brown and yellow and Fall red; and some leaves which, unable to come to decision, died in a shroud of commonplace brown.

Had this morning been like others, I would have seen doves or blue jays; cardinals or chickadees.  But the flutter was five creatures of such crafting and investiture as I have not seen before. Likely, I’ll never see it again.  They were not supposed to be here.

Black banding on their wings; and white colored fill; and all the rest, even their beaks, a burnished gold; feathers like Spanish coin.  I had been called to worship if I chose to attend… [How often, every day, does this happen to each of us, I wonder? The option to worship.]

My hymnal was a bird-book.  This is permitted, I think. For without this book, I would have never known that I was seeing what should not be. For the winged bishops robed in this ecclesiastical majesty of color were Evening Grosbeaks.  Or so I read. They summer in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, you see; and northern New England. They winter in California and Texas.  But church this morning was held in Roanoke – where these birds are not supposed to be.

So today, my Creator reversed the magical paradox of giving in order to receive. He gave me a small chorus, and received from me… awe, when I went to church today.

I am too tied to earth, I think. Oh now and then, I am seized by a fit of spirituality and for a quiet time, I move along those cloud-ways.  But then I am drawn back – subtly and far too easily – to minor involvements; temporal investments; matters of limited and passing importance.

So, I am caught between opposing confederacies; stymied in this cold obstruction: be spirit-led or earthly driven. [Or perhaps I am merely starting menopause.] I am in a middle state – we all are – neither God-like nor yet beast – too often deceived by the tassels and ornament of day-to-day life, often of trivial import. I am caught between the rigor of my ideal and what I perceive to be the necessities of the day. And should I ever be `winnowed and sifted and brought to a handful’, I fear I shall be revealed a hypocrite

Now, like everyone else, land me in a spiritual moment – show me an angel with a flaming sword – and I am quickly summoned to piety.  But, overall, I make too many compromises. Oh, I tell myself I don’t; I tell myself I’m spiritual. But the proof of this poor pudding is that when I should incline to piety – to lay quiet in my faith – I fret or come to a blinding wrath over some passing event. Oh, the contaminated margins of my faith!  I am too cautious to trust in my God, and thus the dialectic between us is fuzzy. Someone angered me today; or, I was in some way disappointed, and off I go.

Spirituality should rest like hair on the shoulder, easy; calling me back to sympathy and expanding my circle of regard. It should be a natural resonance. When will it be so for me?

Much like my epiphany with the birds in the story above, I am moved to wonder, how often it happens?  How often does the Creator try to reach us?  Does God speak outright or in some encrypted tongue; and if encrypted, how? At the risk of taxing my reader’s patience, let me repeat my story in a different way: I was sitting at my desk and thought I heard a soft tapping at my shutter. `The wind,’ I conclude; or Him tapping with a burnished golden bird to get my attention, as He has so many times before. “Do you see what I bring you?  A gift in remembrance of  Me. to remind you that I, your Creator, am here. Be still.  Be still and feel My presence in every moment.”

Even though I don’t practice this well, or often enough, perhaps there is such a thing as an overly refined piety. Perhaps I should take comfort in the statement, `Beware of too much perfection, there is beauty in a crooked smile.”

Look for Lucky’s books locally and on-line: The Oath of Hippocrates; The Cotillian; A Journey Long Delayed.

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles