On Homesickness. - The second time I went to New England was after a prolonged time in the deep south. My tenure at Louisiana State University had come to a close (relativel...
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Finding My Bluebird
I feel like I am reasonably in tune and observant. But sometimes I don't notice things until I do. I've talked about herons, and being divebombed by cardinals, and this fall having blue jays making themselves known.
At the end of last week I was running on a back road, along the edge of woodlands, when a couple birds much deeper blue than a blue jay were playing from tree to tree, branch to branch. Brilliant blue on their backs and wings, but a ruddy brown on their bellies. They were all I could see. Why have I not noticed these birds more? They can't be that uncommon, I know they've been here all along. Why have I never honed in on them? I was given an "Audubon Field Guide to the Mid-Atlantic States" for Christmas. I thought about those blue birds for the rest of the run. Folks who know me, or return readers here know I am obsessed with the color blue.
I put the field guide to its first use: Eastern Bluebird. Sialia sialis. Thrush family. "Male brilliant blue above, chest, and sides rusty orange; ...sits upright on snags and wires. ...Habitat: fields, woodland edges, farms."
On Sunday I ran my longest run of 2015 to date. At about the halfway point, one of my all-time favorite songs in general, and favorite running songs came on: Zeppelin's "Ramble On." I've heard it hundreds of times. In my head I can sing along with most of the words. It resonates deeply with me. But as the song was ending, I heard Robert Plant sing, "I can't find my bluebird." Another goddamn bluebird I hadn't noticed before, though I've clearly heard it over and over again.
What's up, bluebirds?
I dug around. Bluebirds are often taken to mean happiness. Contentment. Joy.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes a bluebird is just a bluebird. And I can just dig them for being another opportunity for the color blue to say hey. But sometimes I also like to dwell on things and see if the Universe is continuing its ongoing conversation. A book I have on hand at the house, "Animal Speak," by Ted Andrews, did me some justice talking about herons (my main bird totem), cardinals and blue jays. What has Ted compiled and curated about bluebirds?
When bluebirds show up as a totem, it should first of all remind you to take time to enjoy yourself... can be symbolic of a need to work hard and play hard... symbolic of a passage, a time of movement into another level of being... a new confidence and happiness in coming into your own... If a bluebird has come into your life, look for opportunities to touch the joyful and intrinsically native aspects of yourself that you may have lost touch with.
Where I am in life these days, there is some deep resonance going on there. Reading elsewhere, there is even more focus on bluebirds and transition. Yep, that's there too.
Happiness. Contentment. Joy. Transition. Work hard. Play hard.
Robert Plant can't find his bluebird, so he is rambling on. Right now, I'm finding my bluebird.