Monday, February 14, 2011
John Lennon - Watching the Wheels
My friend Dana Clark has been watching these baby hummingbirds on a webcam since January. The nest is in Southern California. You can tune in and watch the eggs turn from blips the size of Advil into tiny birds. The mom comes to feed them, her long beak shoving food into the babies little craws. You just tune in whenever, listen to the lawnmower from the neighbors, the cars down the block, kids yelling at a dog. And you watch real time when the baby birds begin to flap and flap. They're hummingbirds, right, so they flap fast as hell. But they stay put. They can't fly yet.
I'm afraid of that.
I'm afraid of spending my whole life having all it takes, the wings, the feathers, the nest all warm and waiting. I'm afraid to have everything I need, and to just cling to the nest, my wings alight, and my little feet, stuck. Born to fly. It's not the flight that scares me, it's the stillness.
Today I sat still. I didn't manage it for very long. Three minutes. Five. Some days I just try to count to ten and keep my thoughts only on the counting. I made it to six once. But in the time I kept trying, I sat for thirty five minutes that day.
Dread is not the same as fear,
but they are cousins.
And today I walked through dread.
The birds flew away, and there's a whole new nest to watch now.
Happy Valentine's Day.