Yellow Bird
Featured, Spiritual Direction

You Are of More Value

Before Peter and I moved to Texas, (we have, at the writing of this, been here sixteen days), we were on one of our many and final walks in Yardley, PA where we’d lived for four years. Yardley is a paradise. Filled with cardinals and red robins. I did see a yellow bird there once and told that little miracle story. That was when we’d only. been there a year or so. But seeing yellow birds in Yardley was not common.

On this particular walk as we had begun our journey in our hearts, minds and luggage to Texas not a month out from the big move, Peter was the one who had the sighting.

“Look, Honey!” He pointed upward and there they were. Not one, but two yellow birds swirling and circling just a few feet above us; weaving in and out of each other. A beautiful pair in flight.

And off they went.

That was an unusual but of course timely, symbolic, and, I felt, a sweet gift of the pair. It wasn’t just for me. It was for us both. Two birds in flight just as we were about to be.

I have a new job in Texas. I work for a the National Museum of the Pacific War. But that’s not the story (well, not yet at least… just wait a minute). The story is that on my first day of work, I walked up the beautiful ramp made of Texas stone at 8:30am toward the front door of the museum and was greeted not by my new supervisor but by a yellow bird!

A dead yellow bird.

Right in front of the museum. Right in my path. There was no denying it. It was yellow. It was a bird. It was dead.

Have you read my yellow bird stories? If you are new here and just discovering my articles, start here on this LYB and then read this one. Basically they are representative of little miracle stories associated with that dang yellow bird!

None of them were dead.

Well what the hell do I do with that imagery? It was so … unexpected. And yellow. And a bird. And dead. And of course I’m thinking “Omen much?”

I once had a fellow actress tell me that she never read her reviews. (Really? Never?) Apparently she had a lot of willpower. Never-the-less she said it didn’t matter if they were awful or if they said she was the next Meryl Streep. She would never read them because, as she put it, the horrible ones you will make worse in your head than anything they could have written and the wonderful ones… are never wonderful enough. So if you read reviews, you either believe them all or none. That was her take anyway.

I remembered this philosophy of reviewers as I pondered WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT DEAD YELLOW BIRD MEAN ON MY FIRST DAY OF MY NEW JOB???!!!

I mean, if I believe in my miracles with my fleeting flitting flying yellow feathers of light dancing in the sky… then I can’t just stop when they drop dead, can I? – In my new town. In front of my new work place. So many things had and have gone so right with this move. This was the record scratching moment.

Yesterday after an overnight rain, (big news after a long drought), I walked up to the same door, day number three, of my new job. There was another yellow warbler on the ground, on it’s side, inhaling through hits beak. I could see her little chest going up and down repetitively as she evenly gasped for air. I panicked. I saw her little claw tighten and I thought am I witnessing this little bird die?

Unconscious Bird

I began to say Hail Marys over her. I said one. I said the second.

Then she popped up onto her feet. Pop! And just stood still; eyes still closed. She seemed to be…getting her bearings.

She’d been knocked out cold. Unconscious. I’m going to say here that my prayers were heard (I did say a third) and she got back to her feet.

By this time a few other employees had joined in the audience and it came to light that many birds slam into the windows above on a day such as this (overcast) because they see the reflection of the gray sky and head into the window at full speed.

This little yellow bird had been knocked out cold, fell the ground, and awaited the verdict.

I had to go inside. I kept praying. (I don’t feel silly. St. Francis would have done the same.) Another employee walked in and told me the bird was now gone.

Hallelujah! She lives!

So where do we fly with this? I have a choice. I can believe all my birdie stores and there miracles attached. Or none. So which?

I cannot tell you what I think about the dead bird on my first day. (Well, yes I can. See the quote below.)

I can tell you that moving here just about knocked me out cold. And without family and friends we couldn’t have done it. Well, it would have been pretty hard. But I know I had loved ones praying for me and I had loved ones helping me tactically. They are helping us get on our feet again (pop!) with prayer and by physically showing up for us. And I include those on both ends of the move.

What’s left to do? Well it’s obvious, isn’t it. Fly, little bird. Fly!

(Unless you’re dead.)

Well then…The end.

(Unless you pop back on your feet to fly again.)

Well, Then. The beginning!

And that’s where we are. At the beginning (again.) Just watch your speed and don’t fly to close to the buildings. You’ll do fine, Little Bird.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Yellow Bird
Matthew
10:29-31

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have little miracle symbols that mean something special to you? Do you always believe them? What happens when they take a weird turn? How do you respond? Where do sweet symbols and superstition collide? Comment here.

Fleur Dobbins is a Catholic spiritual writer and coach, playwright, and storyteller based in Texas (via NYC, LA, and PA!) with a professional background in theatre and film. Fleur writes creative stories of encouragement while seeking the spiritual Truth underneath through memoir and fiction. Learn more or make a donation at www.fleuralysdobbins.com.