It was an early spring morning and the bird feeders outside our kitchen window were well stocked and busy as usual: Niger seed for the American goldfinch, sunflower and millet for the cardinals, chickadees, tufted titmice, nuthatch, and all the other finches and sparrows that breakfasted regularly near our Community house in suburban New York State. The noise and happy chatter was not unlike one of our recreations, I thought, those times when we get together after a morning spent in silence, each with our own tasks and work, each with a quiet prayer for peace in the world and assistance for all in need.
But this morning was different. One of the perches was still, and there sat one quiet bird, one that we had never seen before. The intensity of the color blue was a color I had never seen before: rich, dark, intense, even brilliant. “That must be an indigo bunting!” I called to the others, who came to peer out the windows in eager anticipation to see the newcomer.
The bird lingered, a minute or two, quiet and solitary, amidst all the action of the other finches. Then he flew to the trees, then to the sky, and we have not seen him since.
Every so often, even on an ordinary day, we get a glimpse of the unexpected, a reality that we know exists but seldom see, reminding us that there is always mystery and beauty all around us, other dimensions of life, if we are but quiet and still, and ready to see.