Several weeks ago, just another Saturday, business as usual around the house. The sun was out in all its glory, a rare treat it seems these days. The wife and I were out and about tending to our house, our yard, our life. Because we were busy, going in and going out, I had both of the big garage doors open.
One trip through, I entered the garage and heard a buzzing noise above. Looking up I could see that a Hummingbird had flown into the garage. Finding itself walled in by unfamiliar, un-natural surroudings, it flew up to the one thing it could see that did look right. The only patch of blue sky in this confine……..blue sky as seen through the skylight window of the garage.
Having flown to the one thing that surely must provide freedom, blue sky above, it now found itself trapped by an invisible barrier it could not understand. It only saw the blue skies of freedom beyond, and continued fruitlessly trying to get there, buzzing against the pane.
I attempted to free it from its misery, but it was too high up, and too small. A fishing net duct taped to a wooden pole proved useless, only frightening the small creature more.
The way out was easy, was wide open, ready and available for the bird to use. If it could only see it. The two open garage doors provided a cavernous escape route. But trapped where it was this tiny creature could only see and focus on the one sure thing that it knew HAD to be freedom. It could not see nor comprehend the invisible barrier that prevented its escape, so it continued to flail itself against the impossible. Anymore than it could see or comprehend that there may be another way out. By only looking up, never looking down, it died. By continuing to focus on one thing it could see as the most important goal of its life, it died. All the while to doors to freedom stood wide open. Just feet away from its suffering.
How human is this, to keep beating our heads against that which we cannot see as the barrier that prevents us from flying to our own freedom. To continue only looking up, looking at whatever path we have set ourselves on, and not see that it is ultimately a path to nowhere, but our own ruin or failure.
Stop, look around, look down, look where you have been. Perhaps there is a barrier right in front of your vision, that you cannot see, preventing further groth. Perhaps the answer to some of lifes struggles, lies behind us. Not in front.