Okay, my bad… On the night of the chanupa (pipe) ceremony, I got violently ill. So this morning when I awoke feeling quite human again, I got out the pipe, the prayers, and headed out to the guardian oak in the yard. It is a foggy morning here in Washington, with muted bird call high up in the big Douglas firs.

I don’t usually do pipes in the morning, so this was a surprisingly refreshing change for me. I loved being in the midst of all the morning bustle and promise. We had a lovely event this morning before I took the pipe outside: the last nestling of the second nest of robins took the big leap this morning into the big world. I’ve watched him huddle on the rafters by his nest for two days now, surprised that he was still considering his options. His nest mates were long gone, calling from the bushes for parental attention and a good worm or two or three. Still, he sat, mostly looking down, and moving not a feather or a foot. Quiet. Pondering. Scared?

I love this little bird. I, too, ponder before the big leaps. Sometimes—oh, be honest—most times, fear grabs my stomach. I used to wonder many years ago what happened if the bird never jumped? …And years ago, I got my answer. Taking down an old robin’s nest from a cherry tree in our backyard to bring to show and tell, I was startled and frightened to find laying in the nest the perfect feathered body of the bird who did not jump. It was a sorrowful, mummified little fledgling who chose familiarity over change. Deadly familiarity.

What had happened? Do parent birds stop coming back to the nest and just give up on the too-timid children? If so, maybe they know instinctively that to survive this world, one must possess the fortitude to take certain leaps no matter the level of fear. Some leaps are just flat required.

So, I was so pleased to step out to the carport this morning and find my little buddy gone. And the pipe seemed to mirror the energy of that lovely leap: all the blue smoke from the pipe blew strongly to the south—the place of growth and abundance. I smiled inside. All these prayer were headed to a place of powerful growing energy. The place where dreams are made strong and real. Thank you so very much, spirits of the South! Please take those prayers, and take my little bird friend, and make real all the positive flow toward change, toward fulfillment, toward healing.

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4 Responses to LATE, BUT LOVELY!

  1. Suzy Gerlicher says:

    Susan, you truly are one of the most genuine people that I have the pleasure to read. 🙂 This next month, I am planning on being married~ to the most wonderful man that the Great Spirit could ever see fit to bless me with! I am scared for this leap, but not in a negative or fearful way. It is more an excited and giddy kind of scared, if that makes any sense at all? I want to be more like a little child or my kitty who has the utmost faith that no one they trust will hurt them or allow them to be hurt. While my kitty is an independent spirit, (she also is my service animal), I sometimes have to put a leash and harness on her to keep her safe when we go outside. That is the way the Great Spirit is with us~ putting us on a harness and leash very lovingly so that we can have what we need to be safe when we’re out in this world with HIM. And may we, like my kitty, soon realize that when the leash and harness are on, that they don’t hurt.

  2. Ann says:

    Lovely to read your post this morning… Your essay left me with a smile on my lips, a lump in my throat (? the two often seem to go together, these days), and a certainty in my heart that this is the truth.
    Mama and papa birds can only nudge so much … That baby’s gotta take the big step her/himself. True at all ages!

    • Susan McElroy says:

      Yup, Ann, especially in these uncertain times when it seems we are all being nudged out of one nest or another!

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