Luck has it that most every day, I have to cross a bridge over a large expanse of Lake Perry. Our home backs up to the river that feeds the lake, and we can see all kinds of wildlife, when the trees are not leafed out; when that happens, we have a small window to see things on the water from our yard or deck….but the view is nothing as spectacular as the area under the bridge. I absolutely love the moment when I get to cross over the lake, and I can see the sun on the water, or the clouds changing it to a dramatic color, like a spooky gray, or like in the above photo, a surreal blue….but this post really isn’t about the lake at all.
More than once, I’ve been able to witness something pretty amazing as I cross the bridge over the lake….something that feels to me almost like witnessing a miracle. There must be some sort of air current that flows along beside the lake in one spot very near the road (Perry is a very windy lake…so that isn’t impossible). On certain days, I will pass by this spot, and see a bird (always a large bird…once an eagle, frequently a hawk, and the other day a beautiful pelican) suspended in midair, wings outstretched, head down scanning the water or nearby bank for something. The tips of the bird’s wings will flutter, but other than that, the bird is absolutely still, caught on that air current. If I wasn’t moving along beside it in my car, I would assume time had come to a stand still, the bird is simply not in motion.
Today, I was (and am) feeling really overwhelmed, and that’s putting it pretty lightly. I have reached a point with my daughter’s illness or condition (we don’t know what it is for sure, so I don’t have a name for it), where I just don’t have control….and that leads to me feeling pretty desperate. I also felt so sad for my friend and family member Beth, who lost her dad to a battle with cancer yesterday…..after losing her mom less than a year ago. A week ago, some kids I had worked with in my former job lost both of their parents in a murder suicide, the husband of my two youngest girl’s kindergarten teacher was killed in an accident, and a faithful library patron of mine lost his battle with colon cancer. Let me just say I am not necessarily feeling sorry for myself, but I think I have just reached the limit of what my already fragile emotions could take. This has led me to think about the beauty of becoming invisible, just for a while….. maybe an hour, maybe a few days?
As I headed over the bridge today, bawling in my minivan, there it was….a hawk…suspended just feet from my window, and caught by the invisible air current. The hawk was being held up completely by something unseen, and it got me to thinking.
Really, all that matters and all that we trust in, is invisible. We cannot see faith, yet we have it. Even if you don’t have a religious faith, everyone has faith in something unseen. The trappings of the heart are unseen, the thoughts of the mind, the connectedness of our relationships. I know that I have never seen Jesus Christ with my eyes, but I have with my soul……and that is all that matters to me; that’s all I need to place my faith in him.
I love winged creatures, there is something so amazing to me about something that can fly. I think my fascination comes from the fact that they move through the air, buoyed by the trust and faith in something, and gracefully touching that which is invisible. I am absolutely positive that is supposed to be a sign to us, just like the eagle, and the hawk, and the pelican were to me. They say that the soul weighs 27 grams, but even if we can measure that scientifically, it can never be captured. I have seen recently, however, a soul can be deeply missed and longed for. I will just pray that the beautiful, invisible, and trustworthy source of the wind beneath those bird’s wings, will continue to blow beneath the wings of those who need it right now and always. ~