Beyond… A Journey Within

Swati Singh

Feather Weather!

“My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.” ~ Terri Guillemets

Masterpiece short film!

Going down the memory lane, I was always fascinated by the chitter-chatter of the birds in my lawn. I can still remember every bird. A very tiny, dark shiny blue bird used to come onto the red hibiscus tree and suck its nectar in a rather hurried manner. Later I recognized it was hummingbird. Two love-pigeons used to coo perching on the L-shaped pipeline from the terrace down to the ground. Sparrows used to chirp incessantly on the jasmine climber over the main gate. I used to wonder if they were practicing a song. If you listen to them closing your eyes, it will sound like musical notes, or chimes from anklets on a dancer’s feet. One of them used to swing on the topmost branch as if conducting an orchestra.

I cannot clearly trace back the time since I started feeding them but it became a routine. Sparrows would come as soon as I scatter the seeds and finished it without leaving a speck on the ground. Spick and clean! Pigeons were kind of little local goons. They used to shoo away other clan’s pigeons by running behind them with their tiny red feet as if saying, “Dude, get off my ground!” Then there were cawing crows. But they scared my little sparrows away. I felt they are those bullies who snatch junior school kids’ lunch. Other guestbook signage includes mynahs and squirrels. That used to be quite a show!
I must have been in seventh standard when I thought how would it be to have one of these little fellas as my companion. My Sylvestor mind started making plans of capturing Tweety. I found one small hawker basket from a store room, thought of tying a rope to it and place it vertically  where they feed. Plan was to loosen rope as soon as they are there. Ah! Those naive plans. Yeah, it didn’t work!
As years went by, I noticed a decrease in number of birds visiting home. Some days, food used to be there on the ground waiting all day long. I was perplexed whether it was the human encroachment as mentioned in the newspapers or the birds came to know about my evil plans!
Eventually, focus shifted to my other teenage concerns – complex friendships and obscure relationships took over my unconditional love with these birds. 
Birds hold an important place in spiritual world and religions. Some birds are considered to be the messenger of the Universe. Mythology and scriptures do mention their role and significance. From the white-neck eagle which go in circle seven times on Makar Sankranti at Sabarimala temple in Kerela to two immortal pigeons in the harsh bitter weather of Amarnath caves in India, they carry heavy “mystical baggage” (quoting Mitchill Burgess here). Birds are supposed to be the mediators between the earth and the heaven. Probably that’s why your mum told you that a stork dropped you home.
It is said that a spiritually evolved person can choose to take birth in a bird species by free will to pursue his spiritual practice undisturbed by the distractions faced in a human birth. Maybe these are the messengers which come to people in an uncanny manner. Or maybe these are the ones who come to ‘whitewash’ on your washed car every day or throw green-apple-splatters on you. (un)Lucky you! At least Greeks say so!
Years later, amongst the hustle-bustle of so-called ‘life’, I connected with them again. If you have read my first post ‘Photography is bliss’, you would remember how I said that it makes you notice little joyful things that you tend to ignore. I noticed my old friends. I spent hours looking for them. I found several breeds at a neglected marshy area a few kilometers away my office – Ducks, herons, egrets, mynah, kingfisher, larks, eagles, lapwing and once in a while the magnificent peacock. Explored bird sanctuaries too. What a delight! It gave me an inner joy and tranquility. I am not sure whether it was an inner calling or connect they wanted to make with me, but I am so glad that it happened. A simple and soul-nourishing relationship. Looking forward to a deeper connect.
Life is now a quote by author Carol Christ, “Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.”

Look around, your birdie must be waiting for you! 🙂 


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