I encountered this robin on the way into work yesterday morning. His situation was quite bleak. The little guy was seemingly trapped by the 2’ x 3’ clear pane of glass in front of him. He couldn’t see any obstructions to freedom, but multiple bouts of serious wing flapping brought no progress. I tried my best to scare him from the other side. I thought that perhaps instincts would take over and cause him to turn and fly in the opposite direction. It didn’t work. The poor little guy simply chirped and squawked and flapped toward the direction of the glass all the more.
I checked on him a couple of times during the day. By lunchtime, he had made his way to the pane of glass to his right. Eight inches farther and he would have found nothing but air. But he sat imprisoned in front of that smaller pane of glass like he had earlier in the day.
By quitting time, he had made his way to the pane of glass to the left of where I found him in the morning. He was visibly stressed. His chest heaved rapidly, and he could barely move his wings. Eight more inches to his left and he would have been a free bird. I left work figuring that I’d find my little buddy belly up on the sidewalk when I arrived this morning.
But he was gone! Somehow, some way he was able to get a new perspective on his situation. Maybe another bird in the area was able to fly by and successfully deliver a “you’re not seeing the sky for the window” speech. Perhaps he fell asleep, fell off the ledge and accidentally flapped his way to freedom on the way down. It’s possible that a good friend caught wind of his predicament and paid him a visit. With his wing around his frustrated and dejected friend, perhaps the “Brother, I’ve been there” pep talk was just what was needed.
Actually, we’ve all been there. Concerns about work. The car won’t start. The roof leaks. The money is running out. The kids won’t behave. And a number of other real-life worries that creep up without notice.
This, too, shall pass is easy to say for the sparrow sitting on a tree branch ten feet away. But for that robin, the pane of glass was real. It hurt every time he flew into it. It might as well have measured 2000’ x 3000’. For the better part of a day, there was no way out.
I am grateful for the people in my life who have that perspective-changing gift. Some know it and do it intentionally, and I believe that others have no idea that they have pointed out the miles of blue sky behind me.
I wonder what that robin is doing today. I hope that he is appreciative of his new perspective on his current situation. I hope that he is also on the lookout for opportunities to lend a wing to a fellow bird stuck behind the wrong side of the window.