As for pelicans...
Friday, December 16, 2022
Every now and then I imagine how I would like to return if given another life after this one. Well, given another life that isn’t human, that is. My second wish would be to come back as a tree. I would like to be a big, old oak tree in central Illinois (I know, I know there is WINTER there…) and I would like to grow up and grow old by an elementary school right by the playground.
My first wish? Ah, that one is easy. I would like to come back as a pelican. I have been a lover of pelicans for as long as I can remember. I think the thing I love most about them is that they don’t appear to have much of a job description. For years and years, that has been the biggest draw for me. Well, they do have one job -- to eat. And what I love even more about pelicans is that they don’t really appear to care at all about what they look like while they’re getting their job done.
Yesterday I was walking by Mission Bay and there was a flock of them. I stopped to watch for a bit. Every so often one or a couple would take off. They’d fly low along the water, then gain a little altitude, maybe circle round and then bound into the water. No points at all from any of the judges for style or performance. -0.0- But time after time, the pelican would resurface, paddle around a bit. Swallow and fly on back to the group. How’s that for function over form?
While I was watching yesterday, I was imagining having a conversation with one or two of them about the whole notion of “hope.” I’d hate to put words in their beaks, but I imagined that for them “hope” is the first next thing. It’s not something held onto or fretted about. It’s not elusive, it is real and tangible and tastes like fish.
But truth be told, in my perfectly imperfect human body, in this life I am living this very day, I am continuing to be a believer in hope. Throughout my life, hope has brought light to darkness; hope has time and again gifted me with energy enough to try one more time. Hope isn’t a concrete knowing; it isn’t that one piece that will miraculously solve my puzzle. Hope is believing in what might be something kinder, better, brighter. Hope is what is just up the hill a bit further on.
Ever Gliding, Seeking, Plunging God, thank you for this life. Thank you for gifts and graces shared. Thank you for all the holding on and letting go's. Thank you for companions who sit with me, resting and waiting. And thank you for those who choose to sometimes soar with me from there to here. Thank you, grace-full One for this precious day. Amen and amen.
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