Recently I was reminded of the many miracles in my life. Interestingly enough, the messenger didn’t come to me as a mighty eagle, but in the humble form of a small bird
For those who follow me on Twitter, you know that two nights ago, I had a tiny bird fly inside my home in Montana. It was about 8pm, on a dark, snowy, cold evening, when Koda, our 3-year old Samoyed dog wanted to go outside. As I opened the patio door to let Koda out, I was hit by a very cold breeze AND something ran in and hit my feet! I jumped, thinking it was a mouse, just as it took flight and soared to the top of our 15′ ceiling. It seems a small bird had been huddled against the door for warmth attracted by the light. As Koda went out, the bird flew in.
Things like this only happen when my husband is traveling and I’m “Home Alone”. After an hour or so of trying to figure out how to get the bird safely out of the house, I turned to Twitter. Friends around the world offered suggestions including my favorite from @katiemar14: “Make it a bed and call him Frank. Now you have a new pet :) ”
The best advice for returning “Frank” to the wild, came from @BikeLikeHell – “Maybe this trick?” http://www.ehow.com/how_4512341_bird-out-house.html
And it worked! I turned off all of the interior lights, turned on the deck lights, and Frank flew from the high ceiling down to a window and tried to get out. I walked over and picked him up with a small towel, walked him outside and gently released him.
After Frank left, I thanked my friends on Twitter. Without them, Frank might have taken up permanent residence inside our home, at least until my husband returned from his trip.
Frank’s visit prompted me to pause and look for the meaning behind the circumstance. Why did he fly into our home? Was he attracted to the light? Did he just want to warm up a bit? Or, was there some greater reason that “bird energy” flew into my life? Living in Montana where we see eagles on a regular basis, I discounted the deeper reason, thinking that if the Universe was trying to send me a message, it would have sent an eagle, not a tiny little furry bird like Frank. (Some days I have so much to learn.)
Yesterday morning as I was recounting the story to my friend Elaine, she shared that she too had a bird fly in her home on the previous day. What are the odds of that? Again, I felt that perhaps this too was another sign from the Universe inviting me to pay attention. But to what?
This morning I was online paying bills, wondering how I was going to deal with an unexpected expense of more than $10,000. As I sat at my desk, surrounded by windows overlooking a deck and the lake, Frank greeted me as he flew to the deck railing just outside my window, sat down and just looked at me. Okay, maybe it wasn’t Frank, but it looked just like him. I stopped what I was doing and started to pay attention. It was almost as if he was saying, “What do I have to do to get you to pay attention?”
With that, he turned his back on me and was joined, one by one, by 8 more little birds. Frank was perched on the stanchion holding up the railing, with four little birds on the lower railing on each side of him, placed so perfectly that it almost looked unreal. That’s when it hit me. Frank had just created the most perfect Hanukkah menorah! Even though I’m not Jewish, the meaning was clear.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story of Hanukkah, please allow me to digress for just a moment…
According to Wikipedia:
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.
Hanukkah marks the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration and commemorates the “miracle of the container of oil”. According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.
Just as thousands of years ago the oil burned miraculously for eight days, perhaps Frank was there to remind me that there is always enough, even when we get blindsided by something as trivial as a bill. Just because we can’t see a solution to our problems doesn’t mean that one doesn’t exist.
Perhaps it was just a coincidence that Frank flew into my home and then came back with eight of his buddies, just when I needed a reminder of life’s miracles. Or, perhaps it was actually orchestrated just for me and this time, I was paying attention. Either way, it doesn’t really matter, because for me, the internal message was clear. There is always enough, even when I can’t see a solution. Miracles exist in our everyday life, if we only pay attention.
Hanukkah begins this year at sundown on the evening of December 1st, tomorrow night. No matter what your religion or spiritual path, I invite you to celebrate the miracle of this holiday season in your own life. It’s there for all of us. And, you never know… Frank just might come sit by your window too.