A week ago, during a 30 inch snowfall over two days, a bird that I did not recognize showed up at our suet feeder. His little beak told me that he was a bug-eater, not a seed-cracking year-round resident. I posted his photo on Facebook, both in my news feed and NY Birders. The owners of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop (Saratoga Springs) identified mystery bird as a black-throated blue warbler. He’s a tiny little thing, about the size of a goldfinch. My bird books agree that they summer in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains and that he “should” have skedaddled in September or October. Hum….
What was I to do? The only thing a mother CAN do…. FEED him! He’s a bug eater, so I stocked up on highest quality suet with dried meal worms, increased the number of feeders and made sure the bark butter (seen in this photo) did not run out.
My friends who “follow” totem animals implored me to discover his meaning. Only then would I be released and he could fly south to his winter home. I’m always curious about the spiritual meaning of wildlife when some critter out of the ordinary shows up, so I did my research and discovered that when a warbler flies in as a spirit guide:
- You have a song that you want to share.
- You seek confidence to be yourself.
- You have a dream but are not following it – when you need guidance or direction.
- You have a desire to be valued for your work or effort.**
Well sure, I can always apply any spirit message when an animal shows up.
Snowed in for a day, ignoring “other” work that needed to be done, I watch this little bird take sustenance from the feeders and this season’s grapes left on the vine for wildlife. I fret about how he lost his way, wonder why he didn’t leave with his flock on schedule, curious to know how he found our feeders.
Comments on Facebook range from dire predictions to suggestions on what to feed him to ooohs and aahhhs and keep us posted. Every dawn and dusk I’m glued to the windows looking for our little visitor.
A week later, he is still here, through below zero nights.
In the stillness of pre-dawn, as I hear the rain of a warmer day ahead, my heart speaks and lessons are revealed.
I acknowledge my abiding desire to nurture.
Nurture songs that has yet to be shared — yours as well as mine.
Nurture confidence and encourage you to be yourself, as I strive to be authentically me.
Nurture my unfulfilled dreams, as I support and celebrate you fulfilling your own.
No doubt there is more.
Back to little bird… Who am I to say he is “out of season”? I would never think that of you.
What if he is exactly where he’s meant to be? Landing on my doorstep to receive nurturing and sustenance. Until he is ready to fly, this is his safe refuge.
What if YOU are exactly where you’re supposed to be? (You are.) When you’re ready to fly, you will. In your time of “waiting”, I will nurture you with the sustenance of unconditional love and remind you that letting go of the need for certainty (Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection) and trusting what you cannot see is a true act of courage.
As I sit in acceptance of this moment and surrender to the fickle weather of climate change, I’ll feed and nurture little bird and continue to rumble with the gifts of this miraculous visitation.
Some people see angels. Me too.
** credit for the spirit guide info: https://www.auntyflo.com/magic/warbler