Monday, July 14, 2014

so here's a thing I was thinking about

Facebook statuses, let's take one of the latest ones, for instance, where I said something along the lines of "I would just like to take this moment to publicly thank God for the song of the redwinged blackbird."

Isn't that lovely?  I'm apparently having a gentle summer morning, listening to the birds, and being thankful to God for His creation.  Such a peaceful life I'm living.

Someone else recently posted a picture of herself doing some great summer holiday thing.  A friend who I know has struggled with depression, and I look at the picture and think, "Oh, she's doing well."  Well, I don't really know that, do I?  All I really know is that she had the emotional energy, in that particular moment, to post something cheerful.  Which - go her.  I know how hard it can be to find that energy some days.

This is IN NO WAY a criticism.

I've just been thinking that maybe, just maybe, it might be more honest to write about why I was so thankful for the redwinged blackbirds that particular morning.

It was Friday, 8 am.  I'd just dropped Amy off, and the morning was free.  I thought I'd go home a different way from how I  usually go, even though I'd had another sleepless, nightmare-laden night.  I started driving rather aimlessly, taking random turns, and just generally not paying attention.  I ended up on a dirt road at the back of beyond, somewhere north of Calgary, parked by the side of the road, overcome in the aftermath of yet another flashback, unable to formulate a plan to get home.  I was pretty sure I could get home - after all, I'd gotten myself *there*, I just couldn't quite work out how. 

I have a list of people to call when I need help.  The deal is to call until I get someone, and if I don't get anyone on the list, I go back to the top and try again.  I didn't have the list with me, but I called the people I could remember - no answers.  No replies to my texts.  Just me and God and a black cloud of despair, on a gravel road in rural Alberta.

I was pointed towards the mountains.  I liked the view, so I reasoned that driving west couldn't hurt anything, and would be nice scenery, at least.  I started driving, slowly, rather hoping the phone would ring or someone would text me, and just a few hundred metres from where I'd been parked, I came upon a huge flock of both redwinged and yellow headed blackbirds.  I love birds.  I do not remember ever seeing yellow headed blackbirds before last summer, and they delight me.  There was also a mudhen mama with several fuzzy babies in the ditch beside me, and I turned off the van and rolled down the windows and listened to birdsong, and watched birds being birds, and lifted "my eyes to the hills"* and thanked God for, once again, having my back when I just couldn't go forward.

I watched birds, and remembered to breathe, and remembered I had a GPS on my phone, and then someone answered a text, and then I drove home, awash in gratitude.

*(Psalm 121:1-2 "I will lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help.  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.)


Marcia Laycock said...

I've read many stories where birds did this for people. Guess they're pretty obedient creatures, hey? :0

Annie said...

My heart is in my throat.

Bob Laws said...

Lovely post. I’ve never seen yellow headed blackbirds here. Where were you? ;-)

Rhonda said...

Deep sigh. Teary eyes.

Liz V. said...

Thanks for sharing. Love you, dear Susan!!

Anonymous said...

I love birds too. We have lots of red-winged blackbirds this year. come visit...we're in the country too :-) and you won't get lost!
And if that can't happen, well, just know you are a beautiful feathered friend, and I'm so glad you are who you are! God love ya!