Sunday, May 6, 2012
Apparently, when she was living in Kenya, there was a large and very vocal bird living in the tree right outside their house. The bird would chirp and sing and make noise all day and, despite Allison and the others' attempts to get the bird to stop making noise--yelling at the bird, telling it to stop, encouraging it to fly away--the bird wouldn't leave the tree--and kept on chirping. One day, while the group was sitting outside, the bird was being extra chirpy and one of the boys in the group began to throw rocks into the tree. The bird just kept singing--until it was struck by one of the rocks--
and fell to the ground, dead.
I wasn't ever really sure why this story affected me so deeply and why it would come to mind so often. But yesterday, while talking to a friend, it all began to make sense.
For years I was that chirping bird. I loved to sing and laugh and make a beautiful noise. For the majority of my life, I lived with someone who would have loved for me to have stopped. I was often made to feel bad about my happiness, I was discouraged from singing and laughing. Things were said to me which left scars and lingering sadness--but I kept on chirping.
Many rocks were thrown and finally, I was struck.
I fell to the ground and laid there a while, thinking (even hoping) I was dead.
Instead, though weak and broken, I got up.
But I didn't get back up in that tree. Nope. After 20 plus years of trying to sing my song to someone who didn't want to hear it...
I got up and flew away.
And found myself another tree.
And, very quickly, I began to sing again. Laugh again.
Be chirpy again!
Loud and strong and with so much joy.
I found that there were even people who enjoyed my joyful noise and would sit and smile as I sang. Eventually some have even JOINED me in celebration as we sit and smile and sing loud and strong... and love every minute of it.
I often still think of that poor Kenyan bird. In my heart I hope she wasn't really dead and that she got up, brushed herself off and found herself another tree.
One thing I know for sure, I'll never again sing to anyone who makes it so very clear that they don't want to listen. I won't ever force my smiles and laughter on anyone who only wishes to make them go away.
Life is SO joyful with people who make you laugh and encourage you to smile!
And there is inexplicable happiness in being with someone who not only enjoys your song, but already knows the words, and begins to sing along...
Chirp Chirp. Chirp Chirp. Chirp Chirp. Chirp Chirp. Chirp Chirp. Chirp Chirp. Chirp Chirp.