Friday, June 20, 2008
I was staring sightlessly at a blank page this morning, when I was startled out of my reverie by a shrill squeak. For a wild moment, I thought that a bird had somehow infiltrated my office. My sanctuary, the place I retreat to, the room at the other end of the house that's reserved only for me, and where everything falls away.
I value the time spent here, for after filling my cup with the peace and contentment that comes with quiet time, I am a better person for it. I don't need to be pampered with various spa treatments, but I do need to be alone, from time to time. To soak up the silence contained within these four walls so I can take the gift of inner peace and allow it to flow out to others.
The chirping grew more insistent, a call to step away from myself and attend to someone's else's needs. I whirled round and came face-to-face with a bird. Well, not quite face-to-face - a pane of glass separated us from one another.
I stepped closer to my visitor - a rather daring visitor who didn't seem to appreciate my need for alone time - and looked him over from head to toe. He craned his neck, peering in at the darkened room, but his view was clouded.
This was obviously a planned trip, for he had taken great care to dress for the occasion. Brilliant red tie, crisp white shirt, and black jacket. (I later learned that he was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.) After craning his neck a few times, he suddenly reared up, wings spread wide, and flung himself against a wall of glass. He stumbled back, but somehow remained on the windowsill. Smoothing down his lapel, my gentleman caller took a last lingering look, shrugged his shoulders, and flew off.
It's always a frustrating experience for anyone. We all share the need to connect with others, be part of a community, to belong. But we've all been in that dark place. Standing on the sidelines, peering in at a party in full swing, and just wanting to connect with those around us. Yet somehow we're left with the feeling that we're standing on the outside looking in.
As I watched a video the other day that calls us to listen with our hearts to those who often feel like they're beating their wings against a solid wall, I wondered how I could start being a better listener. Well, I could begin by stepping outside of my comfort zone, opening my doors wide to those who just want us to "see the world through their eyes for just a moment in time."
For a look at an anthem for autism, check out