Golden Opportunities

birds with horns

Last Sunday after church I sat down with a older man, strong in mind, but with ailing health. He told me that it was his 85th birthday. I pulled out from my bag a picture of my valentine painting flowers. I wrote him a happy birthday card with the message, “You are not 85 years old, you are 85 years strong, and your strength is an inspiration to Carrie and I every time we see you.” His smile showed me how much he appreciated me taking the opportunity. It reminded me of a quote I saw at my Chiropractor’s office, “Learn to listen, sometimes opportunity knocks softly.” I remembered a painting that I made a few months ago of two birds playing horns, and this story came to me all at once.

“Why should we blow these horns?” asked the young blue bird to his father, “I can sing and make pretty notes easily.”

“When we find opportunities, we should take them,”  responded his father. “Just blow into it and I will explain.”                                    

The son blew softly into long thin horn on the branch in front of him. He did not hear a song, so he blew harder, and still hearing no sound, he blew a third time.

The father could see that his son was getting frustrated, and that his window of opportunity for learning was slowly closing.

“Listen when I blow, ” instructed the father, as he blew lightly into the golden trumpet before him.

“Ah, I don’t hear anything Dad,” said the son, “I think you are just making this all up.”

“Watch the leaves move, and listen for any changes around me as I blow,” the father said softly.

When the father blew his horn a second time, the son could see leaves sway, petals of a flower turn slightly in their direction,  and a butterfly open his wings and gently take off.

“You see, Son, we never know exactly how our actions, or in this case, our horn blowing, will have an effect on other living things” He said, “but we must learn to trust the process, and blow when we come across opportunities.”

The son tilted his head and said, “I think that you are not really talking about blowing real horns, but taking actions to be kind and helpful when we get the chance.”

“I couldn’t have said it any better,” said the father, “Hearing you say that is music to my ears.”

The son smiled, blew into his horn again, then opened his wings to find new opportunities.


That Song Again

that song again pic

My wife and I recently lead a session of Karaoke at our church. We have been singing “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher for over 30 years, so of course we sang it there.  I was looking through my images to  finish, and I came across this one. Today I added the pastel background. It seems that there is something special right between the two birds. This lead me to start to write about a conversation between the birds, and well, you can see where it ended up. In case you are not familiar with the Carpenters, a brother and sister team from the 1970’s, one of their biggest hits was “Close to You”.

That Song Again

“ I hear that silly song again,” said the red bird, “you know, about birds suddenly appearing when you are near.”

“Yeh, I get this urge to be close to you.” added the blue bird. “Do you get the same feeling?”

The red bird did in fact feel the same way, but was guarded in allowing the blue bird to come too close. “I’m not sure,” she said, although her heart was beating quickly and her eyes were becoming glazed. “Tell you what,” she whispered, “Come a little closer and I will see if I get the feeling” She wanted to be in control, and be able to pull herself away if she needed too.

The blue bird came forward a few inches, and flapped his wings to keep himself fluttering in the air. ‘Wwwwwhell, what do you think?” he asked.

The red bird could hardly keep her claws on the branch beneath her. She felt a strong magnet pulling her body toward the blue bird. “Oh, okay you can come a little closer.” She responded, “Let’s not kiss just yet.” she added. Oh my goodness, she thought, why did I say that?

The blue bird’s heart pounded and his whole body shook. He began to sing notes he had never thought of, and he moved to within an inch of the red bird’s dark black beak. She too sang fluttering notes. Their notes blended together in the small space between their beaks, and a soft glow filled the room outside their cage.

” It’s funny how the love birds can understand the words to this song and sing along,” said the young man.

“Maybe they can feel our love as we sing, and want to join us.” said the young woman as she picked up the song sheet to choose another karaoke song for them to sing together.