Monday, July 25, 2011

Made To Fly

--
For two weeks I had been trying to no avail to block out the raucous and incessant screech emanating from the mulberry tree outside my dining room where I do all my writing. Imagine the sound of a rusty door hinge stuck on infinite repeat!  The noise was so unpleasant and distracting, I had to all but abandon my usual love of an open sliding glass door, just to put something of a buffer between my ears and that horrid squawking sound!

One morning, when I did have the door open to let the cool breeze in, I noticed that the squawking was moving around instead of staying in the mulberry tree.  She So Sweet and I went to investigate.  Finally we saw the noisy little culprit who had been disturbing our peace!!  It was a baby mockingbird who had yet to discover he could make more than one sound!

We tiptoed out toward the baby bird and much to our surprise he didn't make any effort whatsoever to get away. Perched in a flowering shrub underneath the nest in the mulberry tree, the little bird sat absolutely motionless, like he thought if he didn't move we couldn't see him.


We didn't touch him, and we moved quietly and slowly so as not to scare him, but we took full advantage of the photo op his stillness gave us. Right away we noticed a little blood on one side of his beak--apparently, learning to fly can be hazardous!



When we had taken a bunch of pictures, we pulled back a little to watch and see if we would get to witness his first real flight.  With us at a safer distance, the little bird took a deep breath, gathered himself a bit and pushed off the branch, aiming for the top of the wood fence between our yard and our neighbors.

Too low!

We hoped he'd be able to turn and avoid a collision at the last second, but no such luck.  He smacked into the fence and fluttered the 3 or 4 feet to the ground and tried to look dignified while he waited for the stars to stop spinning around his head.

We kept watching as he sat and surveyed his surroundings. He looked rather pitiful what with the now explained bloody beak (I'm guessing this wasn't his first encounter with the fence) and with some of his fuzzy baby down poking out through his grown up feathers.  It's not easy to look cool after being knocked silly by a big bad fence.


Seeming to realize he couldn't clear the fence from the ground, he hopped over to the shrub where he'd started and one branch at a time, hopped back up into his launch position.  Once more, he pushed off the branch . . . would he make it this time??? . . . Noooo!  Too low again, but this time he was able to turn and wound up under the big bougainvillea next to the house.  He was stuck in there for a minute until we pulled a branch back to see where he'd gotten to, and that allowed him to free himself.  He hopped out and sat on a brick nearby.


For the next 13 minutes, the little lone mockingbird sat on that brick, flapping his wings every so often, like he was practicing, getting the feel for what strength he could put into those wings he was still so unaccustomed to using.  A couple of times I almost decided to just go on with what I needed to do, but could never quite bring myself to walk away.  I kept my camera trained on him, shooting several continuous sequences of pictures, just holding the release and letting the camera shoot away, hoping to catch the momentous first flight.

During one such sequence, the bird I had started thinking of as Squawk, turned and squawked directly into my lens and with a determined look in his eye, flapped his wings hard--this was no practice!  This time he meant it, and after some creative flopping, he didn't give up and suddenly you could see it all click in his little bird brain and up, up, up he went!!  This time he cleared the fence, and kept right on going! Squawk could fly!!




Unfortunately I was so excited to see him fly, I didn't actually capture shots of him flying (this blurry one of his wobbly start is the best I got), but trust me, HE FLEW!! That was the last we saw or heard of Squawk the Baby Mockingbird that day, but when I see mockingbirds swooping through our backyard or hear them scrolling through their vast repertoire of bird songs and cell phone ring tones they are so fond of mimicking, I always wonder if he is among them and still lives close by.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."  Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV

The perseverance of one fledgling mockingbird is a living example of the kind of perseverance I need to employ in my pursuit of a life of faithful service to my King.  Everything up to now has just been practice, but today, EACH DAY, I need to mean it when I flap my wings as I continue to learn how to fly.  The learning may be hazardous and I may crash and slither down a fence or two while I work out the details, but if I REFUSE to throw away my confidence, if I WILL NOT give up, if I DO persevere, I will fly triumphantly right into the waiting promises of God, the exhilarating life of flight I am designed for, the life God created me to live!

I wonder if you ever feel bruised and beat up from crashing into something you've tried so hard to light upon or fly over? I wonder if you too sometimes find yourself bewildered on the ground, looking up at obstacles too high? If you, like me (like Squawk), have felt this way, or feel this way right now, don't give up! You're made to fly!! God's design will work! Trust Him enough to persevere, and just watch how soon you will make it over that fence!!

Even though that's the last we saw of the obnoxiously noisy mockingbird we dubbed Squawk, that baby bird is still hard to ignore, and that's a good thing!!



Where will you apply some perseverance this week?
___________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Mondays
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"


#641-655
641. Salmon pink bougainvillea blooming like crazy!


642. Seeing a green, inviting, shady back yard where once there was only sun-scorched dirt

643. Getting my email back up and running
644. Every little step toward getting everything squared away with my beautiful new computer!
645. The rustle of the breeze in the leaves
646. Sparky teaching me how to play tug-o-war with him and his nearly indestructible frisbee
647. She So Sweet's Cranberry Lemonade--prettiest thing I ever drank!
648. Getting to hear Brenda Russell perform Piano in the Dark, live!
649. Finding seats in the shade on a warm evening
650. Music so good you have to get on your feet and clap along!
651. Drummer Boy's EP--one step closer!
652. One delicious bite of Kinder's marinated steak at Costco
653. Checks to deposit and Hero Husband's hard work to provide them
654. Sparkling clean birdbath
655. Discussing theology with Hero Husband!

Joining Michelle DeRusha for:

Joining L.L. Barkat for:
On In Around button

Joining Laura Boggess for:

and joining Jen and her Sisterhood:


A heartfelt thank you to these generous bloggers
who make these communities available!

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