Saturday, May 28, 2011

A story about a cardinal and persistance

You will know how to stop suffering as soon as suffering ceases to be valuable. If you are in pain, you are being led.—Martha Beck
"Now why on earth, would a bird keep punishing itself by repetitiously flying into a window?"


Is our territory that important to us?
Do we realize when we are trying to control our situation and schedule, that we may be damaging ourselves and those around us?  After writing this little scenario, I realize, once again, I am always learning.

Each spring, all of the birds come back, sing songs, build their nests and create their temporary homes to lay their eggs and nurture their new families, to prepare them to fly out into this broad world.  The yard will have many nests filled with momma birds and their baby birds.

This year, one of the orange cardinals makes a nest by the bedroom window. She makes her nest and then, each early morning, she rams into my bedroom window and wakes me up. I feel quite sorry for the cardinal; because for the past month, she/he has been flying into our windows. Now, I could make up so many funny stories about why this cardinal is doing this (like, maybe the bird is seeing our cozy lives and wants to come in and enjoy my home too or, that she couldn't handle it anymore and wanted to sabotage herself by ramming into a window all day, and so on)...


The bird doesn't stop at just one window. No, no, no....

A person would think that the cardinal would learn after the first time ramming its little head into the window.  Nope, the second the bird hits the window, it encroaches on a tree limb ready to go again.  Then the cardinal flies up to the 2nd level of my home and flies into the bedroom window, then flies to the loft and does it again.

Someone once told me that the bird is seeing its reflection and thinking that another bird is imposing in its territory. The way to mitigate this and help the bird out of this behavior is by hanging a white cloth in the window; which will eliminate the reflection, and alleviate the threat.

Whatever the reason, this story of the cardinal is telling and mimics human behavior in a small way.  Similar to the cardinal, we are so caught up in trying to achieve or protect those things important to us; we may not even realize how we are sabotaging or hurting ourselves or the ones we love.  We continue to follow these damaging daily patterns and routines, just like the bird is persistent to protect its territory and will do everything in its power, even if it is physically damaging; when to protect the territory might not necessarily be the goal at hand.

I had to reflect about how this might relate to my life.  Does this relate to yours?


*A special Thanks to Gordon W. Stanley (Gordon Stanley FB) for the pictures and Chris Gasco (Chris Gasco FB) for the education on birds.

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