I cleared a place under the ferns where I lay animals to rest then placed a fern frond on the ground. As I laid the sparrow on the fern I clearly heard, "Don't rush saying good-bye. It isn't time."
In Monday morning's quiet, I had nowhere to go and nothing to do in that moment so I took time. I took the time to hold this sweet soul cupped in my hands up to my heart and to my breast. I felt that little bird say, "Dawn, I could rest here forever."
I sang to it and as I did its eyes shifted from open to closed. Though it might say I gifted it, to be with this bird soul as it left was a gift for me.
At some point in this brief journey that seemed expansive and deep "have to" became "get to." My having to or needing to lay this bird to rest out of obligation and my initial rush to do so out of not wanting to feel turned into getting to and wanting to. I was reminded of the memorable quote in Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" when Emily says, "Oh Earth, you're too wonderful for people to realize you."
Tears of joy trickled down my cheeks as I felt the wonderfulness of Earth.
Since this experience, the phrase 'taking time' has stayed with me. I think of "time takers" - social media and getting sucked into tv programming or the black hole of the internet world. Taking suggests the lessening of time. Yet in this situation with the sparrow, taking time alongside presence, I was gifted with expanded time. The joy of "getting to" transported me outside the bounds of clock time.
As I sat with the sparrow I thought of another aspect of 'taking time' - those who take time. You know who you are. You take time to make eye contact and see, really see, the person in the grocery, coffee shop or on the corner. You take time to ask a neighbor or colleague how they are without expecting the obligatory "fine." You take time to stop and see the flower, cloud or tree. You take time to notice, really notice, what you're about to eat and honor the myriad of people connected to the sustenance before you.
I knew as the sparrow and I sat together that if it had died on the ground, an opossum would have taken it overnight. It had laid itself down exactly where it was suppose to be in the tray of the feeder, the place where it had fed so I could find it. So I could find it and be fed then pass its wisdom along as food for others.
Imagine the Shift of taking time to be, to practice presence, to hear and see.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 30 July 2015