By The Blessed Belle of Blowing Rock. October 29, 2015. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Birds of a feather… flock together?
The beauty of life to me is that it is truly a rollercoaster. To enjoy the ride we must bend like wheat in the wind and not be stiff like a reed. We must be tolerant of moments that shake us and over the top appreciative of special moments that take our breath away.
Recently, I was at a committee meeting where the conversation between some committee members was heating up about local political issues. They were stiff with their opinions and seemed to enjoy the confrontation.
I watched as their words became silent air. Their mouths were moving, but I heard nothing. As I glanced around the table at my peers, I noticed the jewelry of a well-dressed female in the group. It was sparkling and caught the light perfectly. I thought how much I liked this woman. “She is always so put together,” I thought. “I bet some people perceive you that way, on your good days.”
I glanced down at the zipper of my pants, held together with a most resilient safety pin; I glanced further down at my shoes and was quickly reminded of my mismatched trouser socks — which then reminded me that I sprinkled baby powder on my dirty hair that morning. “Hmmm… not one of your good days, for sure. But still love ya.”
The magic was mine for the viewing.
My peripheral vision caught something outside the conference room window. There sitting on a thin, twiggy branch of a black gum tree was the most vividly blue Blue Jay I had ever seen. I watched the Blue Jay as it hopped from limb to limb. The thin, twigged branches bent, but offered just enough support for the bird to make it to the next branch. The red leaves of the black gum tree accentuated the vividness of the bird. The different shades of blues and reds were stunning – so much so that I wanted to interrupt the debaters to point out this magical moment. I thought better of it, though, and quickly decided the magic was mine for the viewing.
The debate grew louder and forced me, unwillingly, to abandon my Blue Jay and get back into the conversation. There was no resolution.
Precious time was ticking away – gone. My heart started to pound and I became uncomfortable. I was reminded why I don’t watch too much of the news these days. The headlines are horrific enough, add the gunfire of words in heated political debates; it can be all too consuming. It doesn’t make me feel good to watch people confront one another. In the end, whose opinion is correct anyway?
With that thought and an intriguing expression, I looked at my phone as though I received an important text. Raising one eyebrow for effect I searched for “opinion”… thoughtfully punching the letters … O-P-I-N-I-O-N: “a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.”
“AHA,” I laughed inside. “That means that no one at this table is absolutely correct.“ Laughing even harder to myself, I added, “Try to tell them that!”
I am not oblivious to the fact that issues need to be addressed and resolved, some more than others. I feel there needs to be more compromise and more compassion when dealing with political issues. We could all stand to bend a little more.
…be right wing or left wing but still be of the same bird.
Terms like “Go with the flow,” “Take a chill pill,” “Don’t worry…be happy” are not often repeated for no reason. In the grand scheme of things aren’t we all in this together? And by “this” I mean this glorious world full of bumps and climbs and falls and magical moments.
I glanced back out the window just as the Blue Jay took flight. I watched the twiggy branch bounce like a spring. How nice it would be if we could all be that branch that accepts the weight of something and, though it seems to barely support it, gives that something just enough spring to move to the next stage.
As the debaters grew weary from their fight, the meeting came to a close.
I promised myself to be more accepting of other opinions, to bend more and not judge as much. Walking to my car, I took in several deep breaths of the pure, crisp air of mountain fall. My blood pressure dropped. I felt lucky. As I said good bye to one of the debaters, still visibly flustered from the gunfire of words, I thanked him for his passion. Although he looked at me as if I had a third eyeball on my forehead, I secretly wished for him to feel the same luck as I: The luck to be right wing or left wing and still be of the same bird.