I’m sitting here in blogland, middle of the afternoon, feet up and pink toes splayed in relaxation, a few quiet moments left before the cacophony of the day continues. I’m enjoying the rural view from my dining room window – giving thanks where I usually fail to – recognizing the beauties I so often let slide past me, especially those right there, right within my reach, just within my view.
A woodpecker flies sideways, then slides its claw-toes into the window screen of my dining room. It cocks its head a bit, then steadies itself and begins pecking at the window. A few taps, and he’s confused… this is not, after all, what he’s after. This window is not porous enough to accommodate his beak and so with added might, he taps again, frantically this time, and I’m worried he’ll crack the glass.
Silly woodpecker. Doesn’t he know this is all wrong – that his efforts are in vain?
But still he continues – dizzying himself, I imagine, with persistence, and the tapping continues on and on and his wings begin to flutter and ruffle and I sit, watching, for how little I obviously know about woodpeckers and their attempts to make due in unlikely conditions. I wonder if he is lost, just a bit off-track of where he’s supposed to be, or if he’s deliberate. Does he want in here? Here, a world made for people and home goods and not, at all, for woodpeckers? Or is he just confused – dazzled so completely by his own window-reflection that he’s lost sight of his purpose? How long before he notices that the window is not a tree? How long before he gives up and finds work more fitting for what he was created to be – a woodpecker, and not a windowpecker?
The tapping intensifies and I rise from my position for a closer look, knowing this misguided little guy contains the power to damage the window with his erroneous tapping. I walk slowly but still he spots me and flies away, far off until I lose track of where he’s gone – in search of the very work he’s made to do. It is in him, and he will find it, even if he stops at a few more windows along the way.
But as he flies, I see my own likeness in crimson feathers and rattled beak. What an off-center bird we have here – exhausting himself at all the wrong efforts, and there I am too, right beside him, tapping hard at glass when I ought to be in search of trees – beating my face, my spirit, against a window into a world that was never meant for me.
Silly girl. Don’t I know that all this struggling is, too, in vain?
I am wearing myself thin with all the wrong efforts, feathers ruffled, standing sideways, dangling from the screen that separates me from the world I was made for, poking at my own reflection in the sunlight, startlingly and suddenly aware, like this bird, of what I am and what I’ve been made for. And I’ve been here, tapping at glass for long enough to know, now, that it is time to fly away and find a tree.