Yesterday I took my kids to the park in the late afternoon (the benefit of a crock pot dinner!), one that is located next to a lake. At one point they lost interest in me and hung out at the top of the Big Toy with other kids, so I sat down on a bench at the perimeter.
Suddenly I heard a familiar sound, one that caused all sound and vision to fade into a long ago time, and for just a moment I was standing on the path at Wood Lake Nature Center near my childhood home in Minnesota.
The sound I heard was of a Red-Winged Blackbird, a beautiful jet black bird with vibrant red “shoulders,” and I saw it flitting from tree to tree just to my left. I smiled. I don’t know why I’ve been thinking so much about Home lately, but I’m thankful for these small reminders of my childhood.
It’s a mystery to me how memory works. As a child I didn’t intentionally stop to catalog all the smells and sounds around me – I didn’t have any sense of time or future then. Yet when I hear the deep and hollow hoo hoo-ing of a morning dove, I’m instantly sent back into the deep crevices of my mind, snuggled in my bed on a Saturday morning, irritated at the hoo hoo-ing for waking me up too early.
I’ve never thought about the Red-Winged Blackbird in all the eighteen (!!!) years that I’ve lived in Seattle, and I never would have guessed they even existed here. In fact, had I not seen in flying past the Big Toy I wouldn’t have even known what I was listening to.
Thank you, Jesus, for serendipity.