may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile
~ e.e. cummings ~ (Complete Poems 1904-1962)
Recently I discovered that if I moved the bird feeder to the main porch, the squirrels would not have such easy access to the food. Mind you, they can still get to it, but it is challenging and (sadly) some of them fall...and it's a long way down!
Also with the bird feeder directly off of the main room of the house, the birds are more fun to watch. Shortly after I moved the feeder, I noticed a one legged bird...yes she really only has one leg, and I can get close enough to the feeder to see that and to watch her. I named her Peggity, and I am thrilled to say she comes regularly. It is so interesting to watch her try to get her balance when the wind is blowing. She rests on the railing until the bird feeder steadies so she can perch without falling. Then she holds on tight with her one leg and feasts away.
I found myself thinking about Peggity a lot lately and how one-legged I feel sometimes. With only one leg, it is hard to balance, hard to move from one point to another, and hard to stand up straight. But Peggity has wings, another appendage that compensates.
Peggity also has a song, and when she sings it, she makes a joyful noise. As I prayed Psalm 100 ("Be joyful in the Lord all ye lands, serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song!") today, I realized Peggity might have come to me because I was in search of a way to compensate for my "one-leggedness." I realized that though I don't have wings, I certainly have other appendages and such that can support me...I even have a song, a joyful noise though it might be!
This beautiful poem by ee cummings reminds me to be like Peggity, to keep my heart open to her and others like her who "are the secrets of living/ whatever they sing is better than to know/." And as cummings continues, "for whenever men are right they are/not young." in other words if you have a choice between being right and kind, always be kind because it's always right!
and finally...to translate the last line... even a fool can pull the sky over him with a smile...a smile heals all.
I am smiling at Peggity right now as she feasts away. "May my heart always be open to little birds!"