Last week, I began to feel a wee bit overwhelmed, what with a minor surgery I didn’t want to have, a plethora of work deadlines, upcoming travel, global warming, the absolute cluelessness of the man running my country. You get the picture. Us creative types should really just breathe and take it one moment at a time.
I wanted to save the whales, the snow leopards, the polar bears. Oh, and just about every dog up for adoption in a 100 square mile radius. I wanted to help a friend who was struggling. A family whose home was devastated by fire. Abused children.
In the midst of this completely unproductive feeling that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and I needed to be the Woman in a Cape to save it, I heard a “cheep.” And then another. And then quite a few more. In fact, I heard cheeps for roughly 36 hours before they finally broke through my brain fog.
“It’s a bird,” I thought to myself. No applause necessary. Sometimes I figure out the obvious all on my own.
Not only was it a bird, but I realized its cheeping was not mobile. It was coming from the side of my house, from just one spot, and it was insistent. Wisely insistent because when I went outside to find it, it was stuck in my window well.
I’d like to tell you I put on my cape and saved it, but I’m a bit of a ninny about touching live birds. I recruited my neighbor to do that. He was able to get it out of the window well and onto my grass, where Mama, Daddy and just about every bird relative in the county started to divebomb him. They were clear in their message: “We’ll take it from here.”
I watched it head off with its family. I was a bit giddy, as I’m a bleeding heart for animals of any type. I loved knowing it was safe and free.
As I returned to my computer, the lightbulb went on inside my head.
I don’t need to save the world, or even all the polar bears. Truthfully, I can’t. I barely have the bandwidth right now to save those closest to me.
Save the bird, stupid. Just save the damn bird.
The Universe puts our work right in front of us. Either physically or through an insistent urge to do something, go somewhere, that just won’t go away. In this case, it was a baby bird in my window well.
I did not save the world last week. But, I did save one living thing. I’m thinking that’s the point.