Calm and be still

Calm attracts friends of all kinds

In these days of information overload, propaganda, panic and fear there are lesson from our wild friends for which we can learn.

Last summer I was able to visit several national parks in these United States by motorcycle and enjoy the peace and comfort afforded from amazing scenery, the sound and sight of waters, and comfort that dense forests can offer. These are especially true when experienced on two wheels with open air. However, one of the best experiences I had involved a couple of our feathered friends who taught of trust.

The morning of a motorcycle’s adventure involves a seaming set ritual of early rise and cleaning of motorcycle in anticipation for the day’s journey and the experiences to be had. One particular day, those experiences started first thing and continued through the day.

I was shining chrome and polishing windshield as the sun rose gently in the eastern sky. While doing this and feeling the warmth penetrate to my soul, I realized, I was not alone. A small feathered friend had risen early as well and was busy scrounging the parking lot for breakfast. As I continued the cleaning task my new friend came closer and closer until he was no more than a few feet away. I watched in fascination as he judged my presence and his related safety. Being in close proximity to the lure of Harley Davidson I could see the temptation mounting in his behavior. Finally unable to resist longer, he hopped up on a friend’s bike that was parked nearby. I imagined I could see the joy in his eyes and hear the excitement in his chirp as he fanaticized a feather fluttering ride and the wind on his beak. You know suddenly I could relate to this little guy and I think we understood each other if only for a moment.

As the ritual goes the cleaning comes to an end, the bikes are loaded, kick stands come up and motor roars to life, clutch is pulled, and gears are kicked in. However, on this same day another feathered friend and I would meet.

After riding for a time the group stopped for a short nature hike and a wander for a time to enjoy the area we visited. As is the case the group scatters at first and follows their own interest. Sometimes alone and some in groups but in the end the bikes attract a return and all gather there when it’s time to move on. While this gathering was taking place a friend who was eating crackers discovered an amazing thing. If he placed a cracker in his hand and held it there very still, the local population of feathered friends would land and eat right from his hand. This was an incredible example of trust but it did required two things patience and calm.

After watching this occur with fascination at their trust, my friends and I, we decided to press and see how trusting these feathered friends could be if patience and calmness were applied. A friend placed a cracker on the bill of my hat and instructed me to hold still and wait. He then stepped back and watched and told me what was happening as I anxiously waited. Sure enough after several testing passes one of our new friends landed on my head and ate his lunch from the bill of my hat. It was amazing to feel him there and know of his trust extended for only a meal.

Now I know what you’re thinking, did he leave a present on the hat too? No, he did not because you see I wore a Harley Davidson hat and even wild birds of our vast American forests have respect for that brand.

Since I have thought much about the trust the little fellows had given and the reward I felt at being trusted because I was still and calm with no intent to do harm. Now that is an experience that I believe we all could learn from. Intend no harm, remain calm and still, I trust that we all can certainly benefit from that.

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