Have you ever tried to capture a photo of a bird in flight?
It’s actually pretty hard I’ve discovered – especially armed with only an iPhone camera. Markedly harder still when you are trying to also keep three inexperienced bike riders from rolling off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic. But still, you know, you see a beautiful white bird soaring through the sky and you just want to try and capture something about it.
I think I wanted to capture its freedom. Maybe a little of its ignorance about pandemics. Perhaps just a touch of the simplicity of its life.
As if an image could somehow impart some of its freedom, ignorance, and simplicity on me.
One of the inexperienced riders did stumble and fall into the grass as I chased the bird, and so I turned my full attention back to him to help him up and head back home.
As I looked back at my captured image today, I realized that perhaps that bird did give me something after all – a moment to observe what peace looks like in flight.
“On the day when the weight deadens
on your shoulders and you stumble,
may the clay dance to balance you.
And when your eyes freeze behind
the grey window and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours, indigo, red, green,
and azure blue come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays in the currach of thought and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak to mind your life.”
-A Blessing by John O’Donohue
May a slow wind work these words of love around you… like a peaceful, white bird in flight… reminding you today of God’s embrace.