Last night, we pulled into the driveway around 7-ish. I knew the dogs were going to be happy to see us because we’d been gone all day. The cats; well, they’re cats. They’re happy to see us, but they won’t admit it.
Mr. Magick Man still had something to take care of, so he dropped the Teen Boy and I off. We fed the dogs, said hello to all our furry children, & started on dinner. Suddenly, I heard this odd noise coming from the den. It sounded like one of the dogs chewing on something or maybe batting something around (because both cats were visually accounted for in the dining room). Then the noise stopped. I thought, perhaps I’m just tired. Or maybe I’ve finally gone off the deep end and I’m hearing things. Just in case it’s the latter, I won’t mention it. He was really enjoying that cheeseburger and I really didn’t have the heart to break that moment by telling him his mother had finally lost it.
Then I heard the noise again. It found that last nerve I had and started dancing up and down on it. I couldn’t contain myself any longer.
Me: “Ok, do you hear that?”
Teen Boy: “Huh?”
Me: (thinking to myself – …why was I even worried?) “What does the dog have now?” And I get up from the table. Teen boy follows, of course.
We go into the dining room to see this:
Yes, somehow, a grackle has managed to get inside the house while we were gone. I can only guess that little miss Freyja Kitty brought it inside the dog door. She has a history for bringing live prey inside.
It doesn’t seem to be injured, just scared. It keeps hopping from one end of the window to the other, not knowing quite what to do. Its wings seem intact (nothing looks bent out of shape or appears to be missing). No blood, just fowl. ;)I tried opening the back door, hoping he’d see it and fly out. Nope. He saw it was open, saw outside, but was too scared to move off of his perch.
I needed to see if this guy was hurt. If I could get him to fly to the next windowsill, he could fly outside. If he couldn’t fly, well… I’d deal with that if that problem arose. I got a broomstick and touched his feet, nudging him out of his corner. YES! He flew! He gave me quite the dirty look, but he flew! Next windowsill, the bird is doing the same thing, scared to death and hopping back and forth. But now I know all he needs is a gentle nudge (even if he may not think it’s gentle at the time), so I can eventually get him out the door (and please, please, don’t let me hurt him in the process…). By the time we got to the last windowsill, I had him grasping onto the broomstick so I could carry him from the windowsill to the door. He saw the opening and flew away.
I sat down with the Teen Boy and we finished dinner. I then started thinking about human nature, how we handle change in our environment, and how our friends and family support us in times of need. Sometimes we need that gentle nudge to push us on to the next phase or next step in life, whatever that may be.
Those giving that gentle nudge do so out of love and care, but they’re afraid of harming the person in the process, just as I was afraid of harming the bird. But they know they have to give the nudge anyway, because allowing the person to remain in his or her current circumstances does more harm than good.
Those receiving that gentle nudge may see it as anything but gentle. It may be perceived as more of a push off the edge of a cliff. Or, it may feel as though you are being dragged, kicking and screaming all the way, rather than being nudged. Clinging to old, familiar ways is so easy, even if those ways are unhealthy. It’s the fear of the unknown, or, the unfamiliar path, that holds us back.
But like the bird, once we embrace the change and go with that nudge in a new direction, we are truly free.