Becoming a Bluebird
Cardinal was a lively fellow. His happiness always showed vibrantly, even as he wished upon every star that he could fit in with the bluebirds. One day, however, the breeze weaved through his crimson feathers as he swiftly swooped down for a landing on his favorite oak tree. He watched regretfully at the bluebirds gathered together at the neighbor’s navy birdhouse, admiring one another.
“I wish I were like them,” Cardinal thought to himself, “as beautiful and as blue as the skies. They seem to always be so calm and content together.”
As he began to feel rather sorrowful, something caught his eye. The neighbors were painting their house blue. On the roof was a bucket of rich indigo paint. Without hesitation, Cardinal flew by the house and, with his wing, knocked the bucket over himself. It fell all the way down and then flat on the ground, but he gradually lifted it off.
Cardinal’s red feathers were now perfectly indigo-colored. As he neared their birdhouse, he expected to be teased by the bluebirds, but they instead accepted him immediately. His heart was overwhelmed with delight. He was finally a bluebird.
As several anticlimactic days of meeting with the other bluebirds passed, Cardinal noticed something. He no longer had the name Cardinal — he was just a bluebird like everyone else. He thought back to before he decided to be different. The neighbors had often taken pictures of him, the hummingbirds had always marveled at him, and the squirrels had occasionally played tag with him. Now everything was unusual.
He tried to have conversations with the other bluebirds, but they all shared a mundane dullness, an ordinary personality, a lack of interest. There was hardly a difference between each of them. Then something occurred to him. He wasn’t happy anymore. In fact, he was only blue like the rest of them.
Happiness isn’t found by being bent on changing, but by being content in remaining the same.
Ryan and Rosa met on a playground. They became best friends immediately because Ryan traded his red shovel for Rosa’s yellow bucket, and they built sandcastles together every day in the wooden sandbox for a very long time.
“It’s been awhile,” Ryan said one day, as Rosa approached the old sandbox.
“I’m sorry,” Rosa confessed. “I truly want to hang out with you again, but my family is slowly falling apart, and the waves are crashing in.”
“I understand,” Ryan replied. Before he knew it, he was embracing his best friend as her tears soaked his hoodie. “We’ll be out of this school in just a year.”
Memories swept behind them, but they felt secure holding each other’s hands as they stepped onto the fresh campus filled with young men and women. As moments passed and became memories, a ring soon slipped onto Rosa’s finger as Ryan smiled childishly, and both of them shed joyful tears. But the best times flickered and finally grew dim as financial issues ensued.
“It’s been awhile,” Rosa said.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” Ryan sighed. “I truly want to spend time with you again, but I’ve been building on my work, and it seems I can’t dig myself back out.”
“I understand,” Rosa replied.
Sand slipped through the hourglass, and the two young lovers went on an adventure.
“It’s a surprise,” Ryan told her, driving slowly down a dirt road, “so just keep your eyes closed.”
They stopped abruptly, and Ryan held the door for his lovely wife. He directed her to sit down and then put a red flower in her silver hair. She opened her eyes and saw the beach.
“Do you want to trade again?” Ryan said with a grin, handing her back the yellow bucket. “Let’s build a sandcastle once more.”
“I like rules. I like definitions, categories, and writing advice of all sorts. When I’m writing fiction, there are often a lot of things for me to try to get right at once, and rules help me to stay organized. But my favorite rule of all is that, ultimately, there are no rules.”
-Bruce Holland Rogers
Where warm days meet cold nights
Something wonderful must begin
Where bright stars meet city lights
No single prospect could ever end
Ceaseless adventures and wondrous surprises
Join every sparkle of hope on the horizon
As the moon goes down and the sun rises
Tremendous beauty lies on the skyline
Where blue skies meet dark streets
Something remarkable must ensue
Where white clouds meet ocean deep
No single possibility is out of view
Ethereal escapades and distant revelations
Make every dream touch the horizon
As the far-off reveries evoke such elation
Tremendous beauty lies on the skyline
Admiring the momentary but vast creation of such a magnificent God — which is seen and experienced with every breath and footstep — gives me an undeserved bliss and gratification like no other, but to realize that deep inside of everyone is a soul meant for paradise humbles me beyond my own comprehension. I can’t even begin to understand this God, infinite and perfect, but watching Him from where I stand, low and unworthy, observing how everything in the world, including myself, is sewn together by Him for a purpose, reminds me of just how ceaselessly, purely and unbelievably beautiful He is.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
I’ve come to realize that hope is always either something or everything, while despair is always nothing.
That’s why hope is so crucial and significant. Whether it leads to a good outcome or not, it still gives you more than despair does.
“God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, his purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.”
Psalm 36:5-12 (The Message)