“Oh” her voice catches as she spots a body on the cold pavement laying just beyond the speed bump in the parking lot. She rushes over only to find that the bird, apparently hit, is alive, breathing, able to move its neck.
I am at a loss as to what to do. The bird is most likely hurt badly and beyond saving and yet, I would prefer he not be hit by a car.
We ponder and cringe as cars drive by and people pass around us continuing their day without much attention given to the child in near tears and the parent feeling completely clueless.
A businessman, on the phone, shares my daughter’s soft heart. He stops in the road, protecting the bird from traffic. Telling the person to whom he is talking to “hold on,” he too attempts to figure out how to help the bird.
A woman arrives on the scene…and the bird is moved to a warmer location to rest on earth in a protected area.
While the adults continue with their day, my daughter begins to prepare a nest for the bird. Mulch, needles, what foliage she can find – she does what she can to bring comfort and warmth to her patient. She knows that the bird will most likely die, but she hopes that he will not. She hopes that he will warm and take flight.
I know that whatever happens to this bird, he will have known the compassion and warmth of a loving heart.
This bird could not help but feel the love of this child. I felt it as I watched and listened to her work.
We will never know what happened to the bird as our winter holidays will take us to distant locales, but in our hearts he is flying and singing.
In December I celebrate love.
It is the season of giving, of open wonder, potential delight. It is a time of year when people are asked to consider their community and world at large over focusing upon themselves. December is about endings and letting go and rebirth and new beginnings as the sun begins its journey back to spending long lazy hours in the sky. It is, perhaps, a month in which we may feel more connected; more a part of nature and the world at large over isolated in our bubbles.
I was reminded of these things as I watched my daughter, nature’s own child, stop everything to open her already soft heart to give of herself. Not that this action is unusual for her, but it reminded me of the spirit of the season and the love that runs through her veins and is hard-wired in her genes. My daughter is a living reminder of what love is.
Love – A word that we throw around like confetti but how often do we have love for those around us? Do we fully understand that love is about compassion and softened hearts? That it is acceptance? That it is a gift to ourselves and to others that requests and requires nothing in return?
When I first met the man that became my daughter’s father, I remember loving him as he was – asking nothing of him in return. It was a marvelous adventure and a journey about learning the ins and outs of trust, intimacy, and giving – no conditions; no expectations. I knew from the beginning that this relationship would serve to teach me about love…
And 14 years later… that relationship continues to teach me and offer me lessons on love, on trust, on respect, and on compassion. It is difficult for me to imagine that I have experienced all that I have and yet, my heart is softer and more love filled than ever in the past… because of this man serving as teacher and offering lessons.
My daughter is the best of both of us – She is that love that rooted our relationship. Like me, she is continually evolving and learning. Unlike me, she has a firm grasp of the concept of love as unconditional acceptance, as gift, as limitless strength, truth, and compassion.
This month, as candles are lit and people gather together and gave in wonderment at stars, brightly wrapped packages, and the masses of people ahead of them in this or that line – I am happy to be reminded of love as gift from heart to heart; of love as the gift of compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
I celebrate… love and all that awaits when we open and soften our hearts!