A Little Natural Miracle

 3/24/15
A Little Natural Miracle
            I witnessed a miracle today. Oh, this was no God-changing-nature supernatural thing. It’s too hard to swallow one of those water-into-wine fantasies. One does not need to see the Red Sea parted to follow a path. It was more a sign – or a message – of the dawning of a new season.
I was on the Chester Creek path, two blocks from home, on a lovely early Spring day, with the clear sky above an indescribable blue. I had hiked there to do some sketching; a treat I rarely allow myself these days. And my timing was choice; it was just before school at the University let out, and I was fairly alone in the park.
I stood beneath bare trees whose buds were fattening in the clear-skied sunshine of this afternoon. I watched for several minutes as a group of three chickadees swooped through the branches around me. Either they were curious, or unafraid of this quiet, motionless human observing their hungry dance. One or both of the males would get lucky, I knew, and there would be more chickadees around. (I confess, sex was on my mind today.)
It is obvious that a chickadee is quite a specific and complete definition of the idea of ‘bird.’ It is small, precisely-shaped, trim, and lightly colored in woodland hues. It’s “chickadee-dee” call is a virile note in the seasonal symphony. And the way each one swoops in its mating dance, chittering along, flawlessly alighting suddenly on a perch, overwhelmed me with significance. Sometimes there are truths that are difficult to talk about. I had to stop at the Burrito Union so I could sit down and write about this.
The miracle? It was that as a singular and naturally engineered individual, each bird was still a part – a significant part – of all that surrounded me, and included me; it all seemed to be so necessary. This was one of those realizations that from time to time occur to me.
From this I was able to realize the place I stood in nature, myself. I am a natural product of nature, as is the chickadee. I fit my niche the same way these beautiful little creatures did, in the interlocking network of life, where we all fit. In a way, they danced their ritual around me, as I danced my own. It was as if to let me know that I am an essential part too. The profundity of that realization hit me right down to the toes of my soul.