Birds and Breathing

Monday’s are sometimes, blech. Rainy week ahead. Feeling gray as the sky, but still out for a walk. I was hoping for a sudden downpour to drench me, which would send me home to change clothes. I don’t know what that would accomplish, but there it is, that’s what I was thinking as I climbed the big hill, heading back towards the office. The hill is a sharp incline up, and in a short distance. The heart races most of the way down from coming up. I crest the hill and start the long slope down. At the bottom of this hill is a wall of woods, and the road takes a hard right. As I’m doing my careful steps down the hill, I notice one particular tree, directly in front of me, at the bottom of the hill. It’s medium size and dense with leaves, more like a tall bush, and this bush, tree is hiccuping little birds from its crown. About 5 or 10 little birds keep flitting out of the tree, and flying away. A moment passes, I’m a little further down the hill and another 5 or 10 birds are expressed from the tree. It looks so odd, and so rhythmic. The tree looks calm, and then, oof, birds fly out, and away. Another inhale and then another small set of birds swarm out of the tree. I think, the tree is breathing in the city air, and exhaling little puffs of birds. I notice this breath of birds nearly matches my own breathing which is a little short from walking up the steep side of the hill. I reach for my phone, I think a video of this would be -and then the tree lets out a bigger breath of birds, and soon after, another, the breathing is quickening and the groups of birds are getting bigger.

dusk birds congregation

How many birds can be in this one, medium sized tree? Seemingly inexhaustible. I should get a video of this. Still walking down the long incline, headed for the tree, getting closer, trying to get my phone out of my pocket, and the tree keeps belching bigger and bigger groups of birds, like the tree is a bird factory and business is good, and I’m partly sad for Monday and whatever sea of troubles I carry, I’m trying not to slide down the road, I’m in awe, I know I’ll never get the video it’s all happening so quickly, I’m on my way back to work and the birds are still puffing out in giant guffaws and I remember Rudolf Steiner’s description of a swarm of bees leaving a hive to start a new colony. Steiner said a horde of bees, swarming out of a hive looks like a soul leaving a body. Is this tree losing its bird-soul. That makes me think of Matt Groening’s, “Futurama,” and the character Kiff, whose parents, both evolved into collective swarms. Pretty funny in the show. I’m nearing the bottom the hill and the tree let’s out one last gasp of birds. Many, many birds. The tree must have magician sleeves on every branch, given the number of birds I saw exit the tree, especially this last breath of birds. And it was over. Now only I was breathing. Step, step. Step, take the right hand turn. Recently, I was watching Richard Rohr on some youtube video speaking at a church and he related a story about a discussion between himself and a rabbi about the Tetragrammaton (YHWH). This unpronounceable word of consonants. This rabbi told Rohr that with this order of the consonants, you can pronounce the word while you breathe. YHWH fits into a single breath. The first half on the in-breath (Yah), and the second on the exhale (weh). You don’t have to involve the lips or tongue, you can breathe the whole word on the inhale and the exhale. Since then, I can’t get it out of my mind that you are always breathing the name of God in every inhale and every exhale. Always praying. Always chanting. Which I guess is centering prayer, meditation. The birds are implied. I don’t know how it all fits together, or why my imagination is so active, or why everything seems so magical lately. I’m confused, clear, happy, sad. trapped, free. Still in pain. Still healing. I’m OK. Breathing.


Full Tilt Skeedaddle

These pics are from a while back. Sometimes, when wayfaring, you miss the picture, but gain the experience. That’s the most important part, the experience.

2 Comments on “Birds and Breathing

  1. A most spectacular read!!!!
    I love how you have pictures on hand (as a wayfarer)
    that match soveell with your current adventure!
    Breathing in and breathing out the name of God…
    now that’s life!

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