Rambling reflections, thoughts, questions, on being still…

06 Aug


It was hot a few days ago, so I went out and refilled the bird bath with cold water mid afternoon, within a minute, a chickadee landed, took a sip then lifted her head high, and repeated that process multiple times while I watched her from the other side window.

Story: An oft told tale about my dad was that when he was young and out working in the garden – chickadees would land and sit on his shoulders for a spell while he worked.  Knowing dad and his siblings that told the tale, it’s true.  At home, our ducks followed him wherever he went, the dogs and cats sought him out wherever he was, content to just sit with him, or follow him.  He had a way with animals and a stillness about him even when he was moving.

While watching the chickadee, I was thinking of dad and that story; and while the birds in my yard are happy to flit around when I’m working, or settle on a branch nearby, I can’t imagine any of them landing on my shoulder to sit for a spell.  I think you have to be incredibly gentle, serene, have a stillness inside oneself and be in-tune with nature, to receive a gift like that from chickadees.  Dad had that stillness, it’s hard to put into words what that means when I use that term, because I don’t have it, to be able to describe what it is.  To me, it is either something you are born with, or being able to be at peace with what has happened, and what will happen, being present and doing the best you can.  Perhaps it is a combination of both, and living life in a measured, slow, deliberate and thoughtful manner.  I would like to have that stillness, but I don’t know if I ever will reach that level, sometimes it seems within my grasp, moments of stillness, but then it’s gone.

Bird in SnowBack to the birds.  I love the spirit of the birds that visit my yard; from the itty-bitty bush tits no larger than my thumb, to the humming birds that visit the flowers and butterfly bush, the chickadees, wrens, pine siskins, sparrows, finches, warblers, starlings, towhees, varied thrush, robins, grosbeaks, stellar jays, downy, flickers and pileated woodpeckers, and one of my favorites, the crows.  What they all have in common is their strength and determination, their endless joy, grace and song – whether it is snowing and cold, raining, or sunny and hot.  When I look at them I wonder how they can survive, but somehow they do.  It’s beautiful reminder of how precious life is.

Magnolia with little birdStillness.  Do you know anyone you would describe as having a stillness in them?  Do you have it?  Can you explain what it is?  Is it something you’re born with, or a quality you learned?  Or both?  Do people still have it today, or is it gone from society forever?  If yes, is it our never-ending quest to have more, attain more, never to be satisfied with what we have today?  Or is our use of words that divide: me, our, you, their, those, they – instead of drawing together?  Is it the racism and hate that pervades every nook and cranny of society?



Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “Rambling reflections, thoughts, questions, on being still…

  1. Tiffany

    August 6, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    That was such a beautiful description of your dad. It was really sweet. I know exactly what you are talking about. I have that stillness not with all animals, but I do with horses. You are right that it’s something that comes from deep inside, a purposeful feeling that allows you to feel so incredibly in tune with that moment that nothing else exists. I wish I could extend it to more parts of my life.


    • TAO

      August 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Way better explanation Tiffany…I was struggling to put that into any type of cohesive explanation. Purposeful – I think I will try to practice being purposeful each day – perhaps it will become part of who I am.


  2. eagoodlife

    August 6, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Beautiful post! I’ve always had a way with birds and animals. Somehow I just still the inner voice and listen to the creature. It was a great comfort to me as a child and I’ve always preferred birds and animals to people.


    • TAO

      August 7, 2014 at 3:05 am

      Still the inner voice and being purposeful. Love the input. Von, I’ve always preferred the company of animals and birds too – the restore me.


  3. Beth

    August 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    What a peaceful post. I have been thinking lots on this area. This stillness, connectedness we are trying to hold still so we can see it, and name it. It’s puzzled me for so long! And has led me to many things and many ways of thinking. I’m determined to figure it all out one day LOL
    I keep coming back to this writing, it puts in words some of what I try to put in words, better than I can.

    By Marjorie Rawlings

    If there can be such a thing as instinctual memory,
    the consciousness of land and water must lie deeper
    in the core of us than any knowledge of our fellow beings.

    We were born of the earth before we were born of our mothers.

    Once born we can live without our mothers, …
    or fathers, or kin, or any friend,
    or human love.

    We cannot live without the earth, or apart from it.

    And something is shriveled in a man’s heart,
    when he turns away from it,
    and concerns himself only with the affairs of men.


    • TAO

      August 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      That’s beautiful Beth…

      …I would think you were very still – still muse over the land you were drawn too and why…

      connections to past, present, future…


  4. Beth

    August 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    My husband is the bird landing guy in our bunch, he feeds them too well, everyday. He planted acres of sunflowers so he could see all the yellow canaries and teal whatevers, all sorts of birds flock around the sunflower field, it’s spectacular at the right time of the day. When ever he plows or cuts a field – the birds swarm around him all excited. I think it’s because he feeds them LOL they see him – they see food. They poo on him too haha I say that cause he thinks he has a demon stuck inside of him, seriously. (beth rolls her eyes so hard they get stuck, omg he’s driving me crazy) So, my big question: Why would the birds like some guy with a demon in him??????
    I’m thinking it has to be the food. But then all the animals like him too, it’s weird, when we visit others and meet new dogs/cats they go right to him. It happens with those that you hear “Oh my, I can’t believe he is being so nice with you, he usually doesn’t like anyone”
    All the critters here certainly know who the alpha dog is, the alpha dog with the food! Maybe they are just scared of him?
    Hmmm, maybe his demon is one that the animals like, and humans run from? Is there such a thing? ROTFL

    My favorites are the cat bird and the hawk, the birds that chase the dirty corn eating crows away 🙂
    Since I am out there in it most of the day, I know what’s going on out there, I’m connected with the bird migrations, when there are babies, the social order of the birds, and feral cats, I know the schedules of the deer, the geese, the moon and sun. I know what time it is during the day from the noises the birds, bugs, frogs and animals make and the things they do, when it’s time to eat, when it’s going to rain, snow, when it’s time for bed, when there is danger, when there is the joy of sex. Then there’s the dirt that I know, the water, the plants, the trees – the magic that is in all of that. I feel connected to all these things because I have become familiar with them, part of them, been with them. In the past I have gotten glimpses of it, but now I’m in it fully.

    Move me to a new spot on this planet and it will take much time to get in tune again. It will take time to meet everything and get to know how it lives on the planet. Things are the same, but they are different in their own way. Well, now I am just rambling. One day, maybe I can make some sense of it. I know I am not the first to try to figure out what and why “this” is. It speaks loudly to me, always has, the loudest most constant most grounding voice I have ever heard.



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