A few evenings ago I had supper with Mentor-Liz. Then we had ice cream. (Note: "cherry-vanilla" ice cream is nothing like the black cherry ice creams I like, such as Ben and Jerry's "Cherry Garcia.") Then we went for a walk. It was a short walk, but it was long enough for us to see a bluebird.
By which I mean, a real live, in-the-wild bluebird. It was sitting at the top of a chain link fence, and it stayed there for quite some time, undoubtedly so we could admire its beautiful blue plumage and red breast.
Back when I was really really little (like, probably too young for anyone to believe I could remember any of it) I thought I saw a bluebird once, but when I talked about it to anyone as a slightly older child, everyone told me that was impossible because they were extinct. They told me I imagined it. I very well may have, but the fact is that bluebirds are not, after all, extinct, even though people thought so for a while, and the other fact is that I really did see one, finally in real life and not just in pictures, and all of three nights ago.
Birds have always kind of seemed to me like messages from God. Not messengers, but messages. The messages are never verbal (Obviously. They're ornithological), so it's always kind of hard to explain what I feel God is saying through them. Maybe sometimes He's not saying anything. Maybe He's just showing me something He made that He thinks I will enjoy. I think He does that sometimes. It's just that the showing always comes with a little extra sense of His presence. This has happened to me with cardinals, chickadees, swans and parrots (yes--parrots living in the wild in Connecticut--I'm not kidding, or making it up). This time it happened with a bluebird.
I didn't think about this until I started writing this post, but sometimes there are things that you know exist, that you know can happen, that you're even pretty sure you've seen before . . . but maybe you've just read about them in books. And everyone says, "You've seen that happen? That doesn't happen anymore. You've just imagined it."
But maybe you haven't. Maybe that thing is just waiting in hiding, like a legend or a myth or an extinction, waiting to come out at sit on a chain link fence where you can finally see it and admire it's plumage and say, "Ah! I knew you were real!"