March 20, 2020 – Adjusting to a Different World

As I sat on my living room couch this morning sipping my coffee, some movement outside caught my attention.  A little brown puffy bird was flitting around and landed on a post just outside the window.  There was a lot of other activity including squirrels and other birds but this little bird seemed to want me to notice him.  He sat on that post for a few seconds and then he chirped his beautiful song.  Just a few short, high-pitched notes.  He continued to sit there and every few seconds he sang the same song.  As I watched him, I felt a wave of emotion come over me and before I knew it there were tears in my eyes.  It felt as though the bird was singing to me; as if he was trying to lighten the somber air that was surrounding me as I watched the morning news.

Some of you may think this sounds corny but I believe in signs from animals.  I feel that if we pay attention, we can get some pretty important messages from what would otherwise go unnoticed…like a little bird singing a song on a post.  I took a picture of the bird, and after some research I discovered that it was a Carolina Wren.  Then I looked it up in my book, Animal Speak, and although it only had one page for “wren”, here is what the last paragraph stated :

“If wrens have come into your life, it is time to ask yourself some important questions.  Are you using the resources available to you?  Are others?  Are you not displaying enough confidence?  Are you so wrapped up in daily worries that you are forgetting to sing?  Are you not staying grounded?  Are you not seeing the forest because of the trees?  Are you not attacking your life with enough gusto?  Wren holds the medicine for using what is available, and it can teach you the most effective means to build within your own environment.”

This paragraph really resonated with me, especially the question about being wrapped up in daily worries and forgetting to sing.  The last sentence was also poignant.  With much of the world practicing social distancing right now due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are spending much more time at home and for some, alone.  Thank goodness we have technology on our side and can stay connected, but we’ve all had a sudden and significant change in our lifestyle and we’re having to adapt fast.  It’s hard not to be wrapped up in daily worries these days but I hope that people will remember to sing.  We need to keep the song in our hearts and remember to savor some of the more simple things that our otherwise busy lifestyle can rob us of.  It can be something as simple as paying more attention to the little signs of new life erupting from the ground and on the trees.  I’m grateful that spring has not been canceled.

During the past few days as people in my neighborhood have been home due to school and business closings, I have noticed neighbors spending time outdoors with their kids, people taking walks or jogging and I have even felt camaraderie among others for just knowing we’re all in the same boat and trying to get through a scary time.  I could have done without seeing multiple rubber gloves lying in the parking lot at the grocery store today – people it’s still not cool to litter!  But I digress….

My point is, that in between news briefings and home schooling our kids we need to make sure we are all taking time for our mental health and trying to focus on doing some things that we enjoy.  For me, that thing is writing.  I’ve been wanting to write my next blog post, but because life just kept getting in the way I wasn’t sitting down to do the work.  I decided that the little wren outside my window was trying to motivate me, because right after that experience I suddenly had this urge to write and I felt more creative than I had in a long time.  I realized that my next post didn’t necessarily have to be the chronological story of my journey with Grady, but it could be something in the present.  This huge thing we are all going through right now definitely seemed worthy. 

These days, the only place I am going regularly is to the barn to take care of Grady.  I haven’t been riding him that much lately, but we’re both enjoying lunging and long lining.  He is quite content.  I spent a bit of time today hand grazing him on the slowly greening grass in unusually warm temperatures for March which was enjoyable for us both.  There’s something very soothing about watching a horse eat grass….

On my drive home, while shuffling songs from my iPod through my car stereo, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” started to play.  “Wow,” I thought to myself.  I cranked the volume way up, opened my window to enjoy the warm air and I sang as loudly as I could….and it felt great.

They say this situation will most likely get worse before it gets better so I hope we can all be kind to each other, have patience and remember to feed our souls with as much good as we can find around us.  The world is depending on it.  We’re all in this together.

Thank you to all who are out on the front lines keeping the rest of us safe.

And thank you to the little wren outside my window who reminded me to sing.