Outside our kitchen window, beside the front door is a bird’s nest under a wooden box. Inside this nest are several baby birds that apparently need a lot of attention. Because of where they are situated we can hear them every time they begin to cry for their parents and believe me when I write; “We can hear them!” They also cry each time we go out the front door because of the vibration. I want to pick the box up and look at them. I want to tell them to; “Pipe down! and give mom and dad a break!” However, I dare not risk disturbing the nest, the birds or frighten off the parents during this delicate time of growth.
As I type this post I am listening to the baby birds and reflecting on the needs of those around us. When we hear the needy cry we want to run to their rescue, free them from anything that might be holding them back and give them whatever they need whenever they need it. This sounds like what any person with empathy and a heart would do but can inhibit their growth. We should be careful not to let our emotions get ahead of us. The best case scenario is working with them, helping them so that, eventually, they can help themselves. If we come running each and every time they cry, giving them what they want, never teaching them how to make it without assistance, they will never learn to do and be.
One day soon the mom and dad will stop coming to the nest and the baby birds will have to make it on their own. When that day comes mom and dad’s skills at being parents for their needy ones will be revealed.
To the Rescue –
Today I completed my bi-annual training and testing for CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) for a person who has stopped breathing and Abdominal thrusts (also called the “Heimlich maneuver”) which is a first aid procedure used to treat upper airway obstructions (choking) by foreign objects. The training was good and the test wasn’t a problem but the thought of being the one someone was counting on to save their life still is unsettling.
I never considered being a police officer, fireman, doctor, nurse, soldier. These are folks who put their life on the line every day and/or have someone’s life in their hands. There’s a courage and confidence in them I don’t think I have to be able to do these vocations faithfully. I admire and support those who are able to step up and do these jobs so admirably.
However, there may be a time when I am put in the position of being the one who saves. I can only hope that the investment of time and attention in the course today allows me to perform competently until the professionals arrive.
After finishing the course today I also reflected on what it means to “save someone.” It’s not always stopped breathing, hearts not beating, throats choking or other physical emergencies. Sometimes it’s an open ear, kind word or selfless act.
There are people in our lives, those we encounter who need what we can give, we just need the eyes to see them. I wonder if there is a course for that…..?
The Hole –
I used to hear tales of older folks who couldn’t eat certain foods too close before bed time or they’d have strange dreams and restless nights. I figured I hadn’t read that age yet until the last few times we’ve eaten pizza later than usual. Last night was one of those occasions. I ate one slice of supreme pizza with spicy sausage around 8pm and a couple of hours later crawled into bed.
I drifted off to sleep and it wasn’t long before one of the strangest dreams I’ve ever had began. It involved Sherman Hemsley, yes that; Sherman Hemsley, Mr. George Jefferson himself who starred in the titular role on the T.V show, “The Jefferesons.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Hemsley) I found myself sitting on the front row, in a large church with wooden pews along with a packed house as Mr. Hemsley was getting married to a woman of Japanese descent. The dream was so crazy I only remember snippets. There was singing, preaching, sushi and me thinking; “What am I doing here?” The service, and the dream, seemed to go on forever and then someone spoke to me; “You can focus on who put you in the hole or who pulled you out.” and then I woke up.
I told Beth the dream over breakfast at Cracker Barrel this morning. I like to try to decipher where my dreams come from, what events and experiences contributed to the images and speech found in them, especially the odder ones but for the life of me I don’t know where George Jefferson, Sushi and a wedding come from.
However, the words of wisdom; “You can focus on who put you in the hole or who pulled you out.” are powerful and certainly worth reflecting on.
Tonight, something bland for dinner and maybe an Nexium.
Just outside our backdoor is a large gas tank that provides propane to our house. On the top is a lid that lifts up so the tank can be filled. A few weeks ago a bird decided she would build a nest and hatch her young under this lid. Yesterday I arrived home to find two of the three young birds had fallen out of their nest, unable to get a grip on the smooth round surface and slipped, onto the ground. The mother was flying around, squawking her concern, but had no way to get them back into the nest.
My wife and I sprang into action, scooping up the young ones and finding a new safe place for them. We took the nest, put it into an old flower pot and gently placed the sparsely feathered birds into their new make-shift home. Then we waited…And waited…And waited. In spite of Beth’s pleas to the “Mama” the mother kept her distance not sure our intentions. As the sun was setting the mom still hadn’t reunited with her “kids”. We hoped for the best and went to bed. This morning we cautiously peered out the back window to see the mom had found the nest, was checking out her new domicile and feeding the babies.
Being a rescuer, a helper, taking on the burden of trying to save is a big responsibility. There are times we are met with suspicion or even rebuffed in our efforts. In the end we do what we can, wait and hope for the best.
On my way into the office this morning I noticed a turtle had waddled onto a busy road but hadn’t quite made it to the other side. I knew I had to do something so I stopped, got out of my truck and started to pick it up and carry it to a safer place. As I reached for it, the turtle decided it didn’t like the looks of me and retreated hurriedly into its shell. I didn’t take it personally, however, I knew what I needed to do and moved it from its dangerous location to a nice grassy spot off the road.
As I drove away I thought about my new friend and reflected on times in my life when people have rescued me from dangerous and disastrous places. I wasn’t always appreciative but I’m thankful this didn’t dissuade them from doing what needed to be done.