Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Birds, miracles and Elgan's big move



Yesterday we moved Elgan into his dormitory to start grade nine at a private boarding school, out of town, but within a half hour’s drive if traffic isn’t killer.

A remarkable thing happened when we arrived but, in order to appreciate it, I’ve got to tell a story of something that happened to me a few years ago.


I was taking courses at a school in Massachusetts and, after moving into the dorm, I was heading out to the town to pick up some provisions, when I saw a bird flying around inside the front vestibule. It couldn’t figure out where the door was, and kept flying into the glass above and beside the doorway.  It’d fly into the glass a few times then collapse to the floor, exhausted and battered. 

After a few cycles of this, it didn’t get up. I picked it up and carried it outside, placing it on the grass under a tree. It did not fly away, it fell over on its side and just lay there. After a few minutes of trying to stand it up, it stayed standing long enough for me to pick it up and put it in a branch of the tree and see that it could grasp the branch, so I left it there and went about my business.

An hour or so later, as I returned to the dorm, I stopped to see if the bird had fallen down into the grass. I looked around and didn’t see it, and wondered if perhaps a cat got to it; suddenly, a loud chirping made me look up – the bird was on the branch where I’d left it. 

And in that moment, the strangest thing happened – it turned its head to look at me (or, so I could see its eye), chirped again, and then flew off. Did it actually wait for me to return so it could let me know it was okay? Was the chirp saying thanks?

Anyway, back to moving day yesterday. We arrived at the dorm, walk in the back door and, looking through to the front door, I see a vestibule. With a bird flying around inside it, unable to find the door, flapping and banging itself into the glass. What are the odds?
So, I corralled the little bird and guided its movement until it could find the door and fly away. This time, there was no “hey, thanks man” kind of chirp…but the coincidence of freeing a bird from the confusion of windows that look an awful lot like open sky, in the vestibule of a school dormitory is, in my opinion, no coincidence at all.

For some reason, whether a bird being my brand mascot, or birds trapped in vestibules, birds seem to be agents of inspiration for me. Is this 2nd installment of the trapped-bird-thing a miracle? Of course, it is! (see You're judging this [expletive] the wrong way: Pulp Fiction and miracles).

What does it mean? I think it means that the decision for Elgan to go to this school is the right one, and that things should work out, and this is timely and much-appreciated encouragement because it’s definitely a financial faith enterprise.


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