There’s a proverb that states:
“Birds of a feather flock together.
I think most people know that this proverb means, people who have a lot in common tend to hang out together. Think about your friends. Not the friends that you just say, “Hey!” to when you occasionally pass them at work or in the mall. I mean the friends that go with you on trips, talk to you on the phone often, like doing the same kind of activities (motorcycle trips, video games, movies, barbequing on the grill, fishing, visiting art museums, going camping, or attending sporting events.
You and those friends are of the same feather and flock together.
If I were to get all hip, I would tell you that those friends are your peeps. I’m sure my daughter will roll her eyes at me for describing it that way, but I actually use that lingo sometimes. Ha!
When you and your friends flock, you enjoy the company and let your guard down. By opening up as you share time with each other, the bond you share becomes even stronger. It’s not just that you spend quality time together, but you also actually spend time together. Without the interaction, your relationship would not remain fresh or be nourished.
Family members can also be your friends. For instance, my Mom and Aunt Barbara are very close and talk to each other for hours on end many times a week and sometimes everyday of the week. They have a lot in common, but they also have many differences. No matter what the differences are, they always allow each other the right to be who they really are without any mean judgments. Sometimes they ruffle each others feathers, but most of the time the two of them are in fine feather.
That’s the real formula for a successful relationship with anyone.
- Spend quality time together.
- Spend a large quantity of time together.
- Have many common interests.
- Allow each other individuality.
- Do not meanly judge each other.
There are times, however, that no matter how many close friends you have, you need to be alone and leave flocking to the birds.
Bella, my sweet puppy, loves to bark at birds. No wait. Correction.
Bella, my sweet puppy, loves to yap at birds. Not only does she love to yap at them, but she does it often. Whenever I look out the back window, there’s frequently birds either in the trees or hopping in the grass. No matter where the birds land, they drive Bella crazy.
The other day Bella started yapping her normal yap. After about a minute of yapping at the window, she did a funny little noise and became totally silent. I was crocheting at the time and looked up to see what Bella was doing.
Bella was just staring out the window totally silent. Curious, I looked out the window hoping to see what had so suddenly silenced the little dog. Much to my surprise, there wasn’t just one or two birds, but all the trees were full of American Robins also commonly known as the American Robin Redbreast. They were flapping their wings, flying from tree to tree, and singing.
The American Robin is a migratory songbird whose tweeting sounds like one long continuous cheery song. These red breasted birds can often be heard singing not only hours before the sun rises, but also late after the sun sets in the evening. The American Robin also sings when a storm is approaching, but when the storm passes it sings again.
As Bella sat looking out the window at all the American Robins in the trees, she was simply too amazed to yap. The sweet little puppy just silently watched the view which was filled with birds. She had never seen so many birds and didn’t know what to do, so she just silently watched.
“In order to see birds it is necessary
to become a part of the silence.”
~ Robert Lynd ~
I joined Bella in silence at the window and we just watched all the Robins go bop bop boppin’ along. After about five minutes, Bella was bored and left me to sit alone watching the birds.
We had flocked together at the window to watch the birds that were flocking together, but eventually I was left alone. That’s an important point.
The birds would sing and then they would all go quiet. During those lulls in singing, all I could hear was the wind blowing. Before long, the Robins would start singing again.
No matter how many friends we have around us or how many activities we are involved in doing, there are times when we are going to be without any other people. We’re going to be alone.
It is important to be alone sometimes.
Being alone gives you time to think, to mediate, and examine your life.
Where have you been?
What did you learn?
Where are you now?
Where do you want to be going?
Where are you headed if you continue on the path you’re now traveling?
I don’t have all the answers. Actually, I don’t have any of those answers for you. I may write “good advice” day after day, but like you, I have not be able to implement all the good advice into my own life either.
“A bird does not sing
because it has an answer.
It sings because it has a song.
~ Chinese Proverb ~
Being alone and thinking, however, is one of my strong points. I not only can do a thorough self-examination of my life and thoughts, but I can obsess about it to the point where I’m sure that I’m probably the worst person that ever walked the planet. When I get to that point, I know I’ve taken the meditation too far and that’s just for the birds.
There has to be a balance. Meditating for peace and knowledge is the right way to do it. Obsessing about your life until you are depressed and feel bad about yourself is unproductive. Controlling your thoughts, following through with your plans, and stopping before you obsess will help you keep life in perspective.
Flock often with your birds of a feather, but sometimes be as free as a bird and spread your wings all by yourself.