Birds of a Feather

October is a beautiful month for the suburbs. I take note of the dispersed color in my front yard. I can't help but admire the contrast of the fallen leaves among the backdrop of the crisp green grass. The vibrant beauty has me in awe. Our neighborhood is filled with large trees that provide me with a direct connection to nature, a major reason why I love it. As I feel gratitude for this view, I am doubly blessed by the arrival of a neighborhood blue jay. They have been frequenting our yard and I am convinced they are living in the tallest tree of our little landscape.

I so appreciate the gorgeous bright touch of blue adding to the serene setting. I watch as the blue jay hops around my yard picking up nuts that had fallen. It gets closer to me and we catch eyes. I am absolutely still, and taken back by the intricate design by which this creature has been created. Its feathers rich with shades of cerulean and navy. Crisp contrast of white and black mark it uniquely. The design makes an appearance of gradient squares separated with bold lines. I had never observed one this close. It spreads its wings and the pattern shifts. It lifts, almost weightlessly to the branch of the magnolia tree, still directly in my sights, and perches starring back toward me. Just then, in flies one, then two, then three. I lose count, as they swirl around my yard and the neighbor's directly across the way. I believe there are possibly six in total. They dive and dart, and as they scoop their food of course my smile widens. Lucky me.

It must be brunch, because the song of the black birds catches my attention. I notice them feasting in another neighbor's yard just diagonal of mine. They are a welcome flock passing through and touching down for a mid flight snack. It was at this time, I called my daughter over to watch the magnificent scene. So many birds, I knew she would be in for a treat. As I talked about what we saw, she was ignited with wonder at the sight of the same bright blue jay in our yard. Pointing outside and touching her fingers to the glass, she stood on her toes with anticipation. Then she let out a squeal of excitement as the black bird flock took flight. They lifted up together like a large blanket being wafted open. Magically circling the yard in breathtaking unison and touching down in a tall Oak tree behind our neighbor's home. Such a sight!

In these moments I forget about all the world, except for our presence. I love watching her learn to appreciate the beauty all around us. These simple ways we can fill our cup with joy are tools I want her to begin harnessing as a child and developing all the days of her life. Just imagine if we all took a moment to stop and have gratitude for what our eyes see. I imagine, we would all welcome abundantly more joy in our every day life. That IS the point, right? To live in joy. To be happy. To love.

I choose to love where I live. I choose to be grateful for my view. I choose to have love for my role as a mom, as a teacher, as a leader in my family. I am so grateful for this perspective. With it, I will always commit to learn and shape myself into a more loving and joyous human. My confidence in knowing we all want this ultimate grace, is why I am convinced we could all lift those around us to soar much higher in our life's experience. I believe, if we could remember no matter the company in a given moment, whether it be among a large flock, a family, or a solo flight, do like the birds. Sing yourself a little song of gratitude, and enjoy the view.