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.