Because It Matters

Posted on: Feb 21, 2017

A few started a chain reaction. Now twenty to thirty birds bathe in a rooftop pond. Some come, some go, some stay. And after a minute or two, they all take off and the pond remains still, reflecting a gray sky and an adjacent mill. Though I expect more birds to catch on, the pond stays completely placid for a long while. I begin to wonder if any birds will return to bathe. But then I remember that it’s cold outside, and the birds must be freezing as they sit all wet up in that tree just behind the green house to dry off. And as we all sit, I wonder if any of them can see what I see.

The reflection in the pond is lightening, ever so slightly, ever so slowly, causing me to direct my attention to the sky itself. I notice the sky above isn’t a blanket gray sky at all. It’s glowing. Textured with ripples of gray and white and blue and violet. And then I look back down at the reflection, and it’s even brighter than just seconds ago. It looks shinier and glassier too. Or so it seems.

And the birds? They’re still over there in that tree behind the green house. It looks like there are even more of them than before. So many, that from my vantage, there appears to be one bird perched on the end of each tiny branch. Yet as more continue to arrive, I am able to see that there are even more tiny branches to support them.

For me, this scene is rife with shifting appearances, changes, uncertainties, possibilities, and discoveries. A setting ripe for a glimmer of hope.

For many of us, emotions have been running high lately. Some days it feels like there’s something rippling through the cosmos – a gaseous pressure release of sorts, causing us to question so much that we thought was true, certain, and stable. When we look around on such days, we can feel disoriented and sometimes on the verge of hopelessness.

But what if during these disorienting moments we shift our perspective by turning our attention away from all we seem to have lost, to all the goodness that surrounds us? To all the inspiring and influential people who are with us in this very moment, whether in spirit or in human form? To all those individuals and communities who bring us peace and hope and support and goodness right here and now? Once we begin to enumerate them, we begin to see there is hope all around us.

The question is whether or not we choose to see this glimmering hope, choose to be energized by it, choose to be inspired by it, and choose to translate it into positive action. And by “action” I mean ALL actions. Because it all counts, it all matters, it all moves—and has the potential to move mountains indeed. Micro-actions matter just as much as macro-actions matter.

The smile matters, the handshake matters, the sign matters, the hug matters, the pin matters, the Facebook “like” matters, the volunteering matters, the speech matters, the door holding matters, the deep breathing matters, the marching matters, the rallying matters, the reaching out matters, the showing support matters, the friendship matters, the meditation matters, the prayer matters, the exercise matters, the food matters, the pause matters, the unplugging matters, and the listening matters. Oh, does the listening matter.

Perspective. It is perhaps what matters most of all. For it is perspective that brings us out of bed or not, gets us to make that healthy choice or not, reminds us to act from a place of love or not, prompts us to be supportive of ourselves and others, or not.

What if we ask ourselves, as one beautiful post I read some months ago challenged, “What kind of person do I want to be in this moment?” Or, “Who is my higher self asking me to be at this moment?” Will I be love? Will I be reassurance? Will I be attentive? Will I be safety? Will I be a refuge? Will I be warmth? Will I be compassion? Will I be a shoulder, a smile, a hug, a light? Will I be hope?

And those birds? They have all left that tree behind the green house. And just as I begin to scan the horizon for them, I suddenly see they are now so close to me that I almost miss them. They are populating the top of the tree right outside my window. I notice my bird feeder is almost empty. And so I’ll fill it.

Because it matters.