Maybe it was an epiphany. Maybe it was just a conscious acknowledgement of something I’ve known all along. Whatever it was, it changed the way I looked at the world for a moment. I sat outside, inside the screen porch, sipping on a bit of gin flavored with fresh lime juice. The songs and calls of birds were loud. Their sounds were so different from one another, I knew they had to be sung by multiple birds of different families. And they were close. I strained to see the birds in trees quite close to me, but the leaves hid them. The birds were there. They were so loud they could not have been in the trees further away. But they hid behind leaves or blended so well I could not see them. I was at once frustrated that I could not see which birds were making what sounds and awestruck that I was sitting in a forest with birds so close I could probably touch them if only I could see them. And then the epiphany hit me: if I had the patience, I could learn the calls of every bird in the forest. If I had the patience, I could allow myself to absorb the lessons of nature in its own time. Just wait, I said to myself, they will show themselves. And they did. But my impatience bubbled to the surface because, while I could tell which birds made some specific sounds, I could not tell others. If I’d waited, I would have learned. Let nature teach you what you don’t know. Wait for answers. Seek them if you must, but be willing to wait if you cannot find them. Today, I understand the lesson. Will is stay with me? Probably not. I’m not one to believe all lessons apply to me. Only after too much time and too much emotion, I will learn the lessons, based in reality, are teachers.
It’s taken me only ten minutes to write this. I’ll now return to the porch to seek lessons. Or maybe I should simply let the knowledge I seek drift slowly into my brain. That’s an option a patient man would welcome. If I could be patient, I’d celebrate that state of being. Off to the porch, maybe even out into the open air, closer still to the trees that harbor birds unwilling to readily identify themselves as the vocalists.