Guess I’m over that (dark) moon phase and now hung up on birds and weather. Stick with me on this because I learned some truths about the world from a torrential downpour. A few nights ago the sky darkened and the wind blew. Then the rain and hail started. All the birds left the feeders and disappeared, except for one.
I spied this young Spotted Towhee plastered to the wet flagstone under our patio table.
Little Towhee shook and ducked her head while the rain and hail pelted down. The patio table didn’t offer much protection from the wind-driven horizontal weather. When the rain finally stopped, she couldn’t fly. Her feathers were soaked.
I trotted out with a terrycloth towel to dry her. Afterwards, I’d send her on her way because it was late evening. Dusk turns quickly into night on this side of the mountain.
Three Lessons I Learned:
Lesson #1 You may be having a great time at the bird-feeding fest, but if the crowd disappears maybe there’s a good reason for you to leave too. Or from my perspective was I interfering with a Darwin-survival-of-the-fittest moment for this little juvenile? But, come on, a little towel drying–what could it hurt?
Lesson #2 Big things that come after you may not be monsters. They may be your salvation in disguise. That tiny bird looked at me as if I was Sulley in Monsters Inc. It skittered up and down the patio next to the wall of the house faster than I could do my shuffle-lunge-shuffle-catch-the-dang-thing dance. Because we both had different ideas about what was happening, nothing productive came from this wasted energy exercise.
I gave up and went in the house. Little feathered one sat outside the window and peeped for mom. Mom didn’t come. Dark of night came. When dark-of-night-comes, so do things with teeth that eat little things that aren’t safely tucked in somewhere. Remember, most birds don’t see well at night. Well, I remembered that too. I slipped out into the dark and just plucked that little one up and placed her in a small box where she could dry out and be safe until morning.
Lesson #3 You may feel trapped in some dark unreasonable place, but you’ll feel better when the sun comes up.
So there you have it. It’s all a matter of perspective. I think this is true about much of what we deal with in day to day living. Way too often we let our fears dominate our actions. Fear can be a Darwinian survival tool, but fear often keeps us from living our lives with vigor.
For my writer friends, no matter what point of view you use for your protagonist, isn’t it rather fun to have your other characters’ perspectives cause their behaviors to be unpredictable? I often use this when I’m in a slump and need to spark something creative in a scene.
Have you tried this too? Would love to hear how twisting perspectives works for you.
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