On my walk to the garage this morning, a baby bird buzzed right past me. He seemed a little low and wild flying; I could tell almost right away he was a baby. He caught my eye because he was black and white which is not the typical juvenile bird I see – those are typically some shade of brown. I didn’t think much of it, just went about my business collecting the folding table I needed to set up for the yoga class that would start in the yard within the hour.
I set the table up and was about to walk back in the cottage to get dressed when I saw the same young bird sitting on the very edge of the door to my son’s car. He sat facing the window, making sad little chirping sounds and he seemed a little lost. I watched him for a minute or so, and I got quiet. My instinct said, “You are safe to fly now little bird. Go ahead and do it!” He even let me come right upon him to take his picture. Eventually, he flew away.
During yoga, I was laying on the ground and I spotted another predominantly black and white bird fly into the garage. This is unusual since most of the garage is screened in, so this bird really wanted to get in the garage. I saw him land on the ceiling fan and then, since I was teaching class, I didn’t see what happened next.
Shortly after class, I went to my brother’s cottage and told him my bird tales. He too is a bird nerd so I thought he might have some insight. He correctly identified the bird was a juvenile rose breasted grosbeak. Of course! That is far and away my most favorite bird and I haven’t seen one in years. The juvenile doesn’t have the red breast just yet, but the distinctive broad white beak was a giveaway.
Not long after, my son asked me what kind of bird is black and white with red on its chest. I of course blurted woodpecker but he said no, not like this. After another moment, I said, oh, the grosbeak! The adult male had been on our birdfeeder.
I also had the chance to see the adult male and it made my day. It is not a bird I see very often and they are so beautiful, I was happy to catch it up close.
My son and I were cleaning up getting ready to go home and I asked him to put the folding table back in the garage. He said he saw a bird in the garage. I went in to check and lo and behold it was the same juvenile grosbeak! At this point, I am thinking he and I were meant to cross paths today. I left the screen door open and went outside thinking he would leave with some space and time. The male grosbeak was just outside the garage sitting in a tree; they were singing to each other. The baby sounded sad, while the dad seemed eager to help lead him out of the garage.
And that is when it occurred to me. This gorgeous grosbeak has been around the yard all day. The male being the robust and beautiful red breasted bird of this species, while the mother is a muted brown and white. I always assume it’s the mother bird tending to her young. But no, on this Father’s Day, a dad grosbeak is protecting his spawn. Watching and encouraging it as it tries to find its way, clumsily getting lost a little, patiently and never out of the eyeshot from his dad, this bird was guided and protected. And he was most definitely not alone.
Like the Grinch, my hard little heart grew three sizes this day. This is how it is; your loved ones are never too far away. They see you, they guide you, they help nudge you, they sing songs from the tree outside the garage you feel trapped in even when the door is wide open to fly away. You can’t always see them, but you feel their love and support.
Perhaps you are used to me writing about my mom, but today I am here to tell you my Dad was the best. He was big hearted, funny and kind, he could hold a grudge like no one’s business and if he called you honey or pal, odds are he couldn’t remember your name but he knew your face. He laughed like Snidely Whiplash’s dog Muttley, he taught me big love, to follow your heart and he was my Aries compatriot.
I know many of us are missing our dads on this holiday. As a Medium who often connects people to their crossed loved ones, they are always around. They see us and our challenges, our victories and they are helping us always. So often I see them moving obstacles out of our way, sending messages in our dreams and through people we interact with. I have even seen dads who weren’t the best in this life making up for lost time and helping from the other side. Your Dad is always your Dad. They love it when we talk to them, and like my Dad, sometimes they have a wild sense of humor and timing. So tonight, I send lots of love to all the dads, both here and over there.
I see you, Dad. Thank you for this precious gift on your day. Happy Father’s Day.