How cool is it that I got an extra day between me and 50. But, the most precious gift I received on February 29th was the entry for that date in Mark Nepo's book:
The quote at the top of the page:
"Who's to say
the effort to be real
isn't the beginning of wings?"
And, then the entry begins with:
"Who's to say that the budding of wings from the ribs of small birds doesn't begin with the impulse within them to live?" The entire entry is gorgeous. But, I don't take it lightly that it was only a few hours after I read this entry that I heard a loud bang on the big picture window in the kitchen. I knew what it was immediately. It was a bird. I prayed and prayed and prayed as I hesitatingly made my way out to the garden. There he lay, in all his gorgeousness: dark black, white white, a gorgeous bit of gray and one brilliantly gorgeous orange tail. He was truly exquisite. He looked so soft and just so perfect. Somehow it was so hard to see. I immediately buried him, right near way he lay under a beautiful bush, just under my kitchen window, praying that his soul would guard against other birds crashing into the window. He is the guardian angel of birds now.
Between reading Nepo's entry and burying the sweet fallen one, I had to go into town to mail something and witnessed the sad tearing down of an equally exquisite specimen of nature...a lovely pepper tree. Apparently it was dead inside and could fall at any time so they needed to take it down before it hurt someone.
God's plan I suppose. Death. Life. Aging. Our time with each other is precious.
Every morning when I meditate and read Nepo's entry for the day I usually stop for a few minutes to listen to the birds who seem to herald the meditation with their song just outside my living room. Now, when I listen, I realize we have no idea how long we will sing, how long we will be sung to, or how long we will stand tall.
The February 29th entry ends with "In truth, every effort that is allowed its full beat within will ripple as a birth of some kind in the world."
That is reassurance I can accept. allowing as many moments as I possibly can to have their full beat, so as to be a birth of some kind.
Thank you, Oprah for turning me onto Mark Nepo.
Everyone: Buy this book. I promise you will be grateful: