Wonder and Change

Wonder is the basis of curiosity—and the curious are always wondering. This morning a robin is seeking a meal in our front garden. The bird walks and listens, turning its head side to side, hearing and feeling the slightest underground vibration that indicates the presence of a tasty worm. It then pokes its beak into the ground, probing for the next course on the menu. Sometimes the robin is successful, sometimes not. But the search goes on.

I am always tickled by this little dance of predator and prey, but on this day I am astounded. A hummingbird flits about a columbine plant, checking the flowers for any nectar, and it notices the nearby robin. The tiny bird departs the flowers and hovers face to face with its red-breasted cousin. The birds seem to acknowledge something, I don’t know what, then they go back to the hunt as if nothing is out of the ordinary.

Nothing out of the ordinary? I have never seen a robin face to face, beak to beak, with a hummingbird. It provokes my curiosity and wonder. Do they communicate in the same language? Do their worlds often intersect in this way? Of course, I wish I had my camera to get a photo of this rarity. Just a passing thought. After taking time to be in childlike awe, I search the internet for a photo someone else might have taken of this chance meeting of two very different species. No luck.

So I rest in the wonder of it all. I may never see this kind of bird to bird meeting again but am filled with joy in this moment. Nature blesses us with a precious gift—the gift of nothing ever being the same. Seasons come and go. Predators and prey dance to keep things in balance. Life and death occur in simultaneous expressions of the law of impermanence.

This is my meditation. This is my life’s work. In the dzogchen way of expressing pure and total presence, the ground of all that is, the robin and hummingbird are always dancing together in a wondrous display of infinite interconnected possibilities. Only the human animal thinks it can exist outside the fluidity of change. How’s that working? Hmm, I wonder.

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