There’s an old saying, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears.’ Well, I received a beautiful lesson from a very unexpected teacher this week.
A few posts ago I wrote about my ongoing battle to quiet my mind and reflected on the fact that I can at least potter in the garden now without needing to be plugged into an audiobook. It was a small step, but I was glad of the progress.
I’ve always loved watching the birds in the garden and for the past few weeks, we’ve had a new visitor to the birdfeeder – a dove. Her arrival, while probably entirely coincidental, coincided with the lockdown and so I chose to see it as a good omen. I decided to call her ‘Galen’ which means healing or calm.
The thing about this dove is that she’s not only punctual, arriving at five pm every evening, but she’s also supremely confident. Despite our garden being on the small size, she’s still happy to land and tuck into her evening seed while I pootle around her.
She’s an exquisite-looking bird, so the other day, I decided to just sit and watch her. My reward for ten minutes as a human statue was that she ventured right up to where I was sitting. There’s always something wonderful about feeling trusted by an animal isn’t there? Like you’ve passed some kind of character test and haven’t been found wanting. I was elated.
The other reward was the gift of stillness itself. When you can’t even move your head, you have to focus on what’s in front of you. While delighting in the dove’s meandering around me, I also spotted the ants on the edging stones; noticed how one blade of grass was whirling in the breeze while all those around it lay still and how wild strawberries have seeded amongst the gravel. I heard the birds sing, the wind tickling the new leaves in the trees and the distant moan of a mower and then, when all the seed was gone, the beat of strong wings as she took off for home.
What a gift.
Ps. I just posted a picture of her in our garden with me on my All_About_Being Instagram page x