Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Bird in the Hand, and the Peace of God

This afternoon, just after a soft rain, I went out to fill my birdfeeder, suspended from a branch, hanging about five feet off the ground, face high. As I was walking towards it, a bird came hopping headfirst down the tree trunk, and reaching the bottom, it suddenly flew to the feeder. It was a white-breasted Nuthatch, slate gray with a white face and belly, a black cap and nape, with a long, thin bill, slightly upturned.

I stopped about five feet from him and became very still, watching him peck at the seeds. After a few minutes, I took one step, totally focused on the busy bird. A few minutes later, another step. Then, later, another. He eyed me from time to time, as if to say hello.

My mind was totally still, focused like a laser. I reached ever so slowly into a bag I was carrying and took out a handful of black sunflower seeds. I extended my hand until it was right next to the feeder, palm up, my thumb touching the bottom rim. The Nuthatch, one inch from my hand, looked at the seeds, cocked his head at me, and leaned down, pecking at them. Then, he gently stepped into my palm, pecking and eating, his pecks ever so soft.

He became still, his eyes blinking less and less, satiated, appearing almost to drift off to sleep.

My mind was so still, no thoughts, no sounds, no world, an overwhelming sense of well being, vibrating in the frequency of the peace of God.

I slowly moved my thumb next to his breast, feeling his heartbeating through his downy feathers.

The hush of Heaven holds my heart today. (Title, Lesson 286)

I drew my hand away from the feeder and closer to my chest, still palming the nesting bird.

While I am experiencing the peace of God, the Nuthatch is a bright reflection of my still, heavenly mind.

In you is all of Heaven. Every leaf
that falls is given life in you. Each bird
that ever sang will sing again in you.
And every flower that ever bloomed has saved
its perfume and its loveliness for you.
What aim can supersede the Will of God
and of His Son,
that Heaven be restored to him for whom
it was created as his only home?
Nothing before and nothing after it.
No other place; no other state nor time.
Nothing beyond nor nearer. Nothing else.
In any form. This can you bring to all
the world, and all the thoughts that entered it
and were mistaken for a little while.
How better could your own mistakes be brought
to truth than by your willingness to bring
the light of Heaven with you, as you walk
beyond the world of darkness into light? (T-25.1V.5)

And then, he gently lifted off, flying to a nearby branch.

Peace be to you, my brother.

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