Three gorgeous blue jays landed in the bushes outside my kitchen window this morning – I didn’t even attempt a photo because I know how the slightest movement scares them away. Takes me back to my time staying at a hermitage in the woods last summer. This is what I wrote then about the blue jays:
“The blue jays sweep in like big bullies. They remind me of the outlaws in western movies who ride into town causing all the townspeople to scatter. Yet for all their supposed boldness, they seem the most frightened of me. The smaller birds don’t seem to mind if I’m around and don’t fly away when I move or make a sound. The blue jays are the fastest to leave when I make the slightest sound or movement. Maybe there’s a similarity between the blue jays and people who act like bullies. Maybe those people are really the most frightened on the inside, and they put on a tough exterior to cover that up.”
I’m convinced that this is often the case. We can’t be too quick to judge people who are mean or try to intimidate or bully others. Correct and teach them, yes; remove them when necessary to provide safety for others, but keep an open mind and heart and seek understanding. Walk this life with compassion, always remembering that if we were presented with the life experiences of another person, we have no idea how we would respond. Live with gratitude for the goodness in your life, always extending your hand and your heart to others.
I look forward to the return of the robins in the spring. They just seem like cheerful birds who mind their own business and bring us delight when they reappear after a long, cold winter. From now on though, the blue jays will always remind me to look below the surface when looking at people and their behavior and keep my heart open.