Today’s story has reflections of a window in a tree. It tells the viewer nothing can happen without being observed. This story seems to vibrate between being seen and being observed. Neither story, nor image, can take firm hold because the two rattle their way through the mind. There is always rattle but today’s story is about what comes when we let that rattle simply exist while we take the time to stop and allow our heart and mind to re-pair.

The crows call. They call having learned from squirrel chatter and bluejay squawk. They know that chatter and squawk result in a daily feast of peanuts. The crows have watched long enough and wish to fill their bellies. They have observed for three years because three years ago they saw my mind stop to watch a tree grow. They also saw a hungry visitor ask for help feed her pending offspring. That visitor was a gray squirrel named Graytuft. The crow is called Coldner.

I fed Graytuft and as I watched the tree grow other beings watched me stop. They came and shared their wisdom in my stopped space. In that space the chipmunks scurried and ran. They were terribly brave, smart, and efficient as they boldly reaped more than one peanut per trek. Once their goal was accomplished they would, cheeks stretched, quickly depart mumbling something in Spanish meaning both goodbye and see you soon. Graytuft’s offspring watched these garbled greetings and changed their behaviour. They too tried to navigate a double haul of nuts. Their cheeks did not pouch like the their smaller counterpart but they soon became proficient.

A year into this dialogue the bluejays landed at the backyard table and did the same.Three years later the crows now come. They dirty their beaks while tooling their way to a similar double haul per trek. It took three years to see this activity and though the tree has grown I am not sure I saw it grow. Conversely I suspect the tree has seen me grow. Every morning that tree shows me a window in its branches reminding me glass panes may separate us but we are still interconnected. The squirrels and crows sit near that reflection where they watch me. Healing from profound injury and life altering grief is just like this story. Wait, observe, wait some more, and eventually you start to see relationships layer with robust connection. For instance, I never would have presumed the crow personality to be so cautious and, as I edit this post, I watch them land, tool for a peanut, and fly away as a squirrel charges.

In the meantime the bluejays seem to exist in the spaces between the crows. I don’t understand how they do that. It is time to watch, wait again, and maybe their wisdom will be shared.

This morning I know that tree grows and under its umbrella is abundant life. I too sit under that umbrella feeling the weave of connection. I know other lives sheltered there understand my presence in a way my human body can only hope to grasp. Today is laced with calendrical connections called anniversaries.

  • One is the night shift I fought for my life, the life of my partner, and the life of the person I was arresting at gunpoint.
  • Two was the last shift I worked where I fought for the rights of a person having a mental health crisis while observing a system that could not tool its way to compassion.

What is not so easy to see is that system could only pick up one peanut, the peanut of doing a targeted job tied to liability.  It could not tool its way to pick up the peanut of compassion and understand we are all interconnected.  Three, well number three was a subtle surprise as I dug deep to raise my offspring only to find the next day I would suffer a metaphorical hangover. You see the night before my expectations fostered irritation because they rattled with reality. Today these thoughts land on wet leaves before seeping their way down to the roots of of time where they will wait out the winter frost.

JT Murphy signing off for shift.



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