Pecking away

I like to watch for birds on my morning walks. The particular bird that I notice on any given day often has a direct message for me.

For the last week, red-tailed hawks whirled over my head. These sharp-eyed raptors fly high above the fray, and use keen powers of discernment to locate their prey. Hawks are hunters, but they only dive down when the right thing comes along.

I had been spending a lot of time ‘diving down’ to grab things that weren't necessarily for me. The Internet is full of shiny objects that one might want to go for. But which blog to follow, which mini-literary contest to enter, which agent to pursue? Now I can hone my own powers of discernment. Thank you, red tail hawks!

This morning, I heard the distinct rat-tat-tat of a woodpecker on a telephone pole. He drilled down through the hard wood to get the tasty morsels hidden inside. Grubs and whatnot.

In my current writing project, I need to drill down farther into the material to expose the truly juicy parts. Yay, woodpecker!

In my personal life, a friend is dealing with very painful family issues, the result of ancient emotions that had never been dealt with. We often develop very hard defenses to cope with our wounds. The good stuff -- the bundle of soft, elusive feelings that make us who we are, and lead us toward our fullest experience of humanity -- is often buried below a thick wall that we created to stay safe. To protect ourselves from further wounding. To feel in control.

Everyone is wounded. If we are not wounded, we are not living.

Let's face it, without a strong beak like a woodpecker, it's gonna be painful to break through the woody exterior that has protected us for so long. Still, there is always time to peck away at that old, hard wood, and find the jewels below.

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