Sparrows and Silver Linings

In our living room, I’m perched on the couch with a mug of early-afternoon, re-heated coffee in hand. My elbows are resting on the back of the couch and I’m knelt down into the sinking cushions, staring out the front window. Moments ago, I heard a sparrow chirp on the porch and discovered that the small bird was calling to his companion—he’d discovered a house.

For mother’s day earlier this year, King Ranch, Little Foot and I built and painted a birdhouse and since, it’s hung colorfully yet vacantly on our front porch. I realize now that I’ve been sitting here for about a half an hour watching the sparrow couple take turns flying away and returning with twigs and leaves for their new home and with each return of a carefully-picked supply for their nest, I’m tickled a bit more.

Sweet Sparrow

It was only an hour ago or so that the new, adoptive parents of Sue and Maybell (two of my foster donkeys) drove away, the ladies in safe and secure tow, and I’ve spent the better part of that hour both grateful and gloomy. I’d grown attached to those two donkeys, both of them having been in my care since mid-March. No matter how lovely the new home is, (and major shout out to Joel & Anne who will be caring for these two now because y’all are just the kind of loving and enthusiastic home we hope to find for our sweet donkeys) it’s always tough to say goodbye to those who you’ve poured your heart into.

But melancholy as I could continue to be right now, there’s something profound about our newly arrived, feathery neighbors that’s setting my heart at ease—a sort of “two gone, two arrived” situation. Goodbye but then again, hello.

I’ve not much else to say at present except the admittance of struggling with my own self-worth. I’m not trying to be maudlin, but instead trying to be honest and admitting to my weakness as a way to acknowledge it and hopefully work on remedying the negativity that’s gaining momentum in my anxious mind. As a writer, I feel like I’m reaching my fill of letters, both composed and automated, that respond to my queries saying rarely more than what seems like, “Sorry, you’re just not good enough for us.” Sigh.

Here’s the silver lining that I’m trying to remind myself:

Every person who’s tried to become an author has gone through this, so maybe this is just the initiation to buff up that proverbial “thick skin” everyone talks about. Although as I’m typing this, I seem to remember a blog that I wrote a little over a year ago where I was actively trying to understand how someone who struggles so gravely with anxiety like I do could ever, ever be brave in the face of repetitive rejection…

Silver lining continued:

When I was submitting stuff last year and spending way too much time curled in a fetal position asking myself why I can’t just grow up and go back to my old days in a corporate job (how was I more mature in my 20’s than I am now?), it was for a different project and that project did indeed get picked up by Flash Fiction Magazine online and that was awesome. It was worth every rejection to then get the, “Wow, we’re totally into this really weird story” response. [Here’s that story if you’re curious: Behind the Clouds, There are Stars]

What I’m working on now is completely different and a seemingly much loftier goal. So, buck up, right? I’m trying. Really, I am.

Silver lining finalized:

As cliché as it sounds, timing really is everything. When it happens that I find the right person / company to represent my work, it will have been worth the wait to end up in the right hands just as it was worth the wait to have Maybell and Sue for as long as I did until the perfect parents came along to adopt them. Anyone sooner wouldn’t have been right.

Here’s what I do know and I promise, I’m not trying to sound preachy:

Your self-worth and value is not at the hands of anyone or anything else. No one. Nothing. Have I gone on my soapbox in my blog yet about how much it irks me when people refer to their partners as their “better/other halves?” Well, if I have, I’m sorry, but you should never be half of anything. You are whole. Wholly guacamole, you are. And if you’re not? Don’t lean on anyone or anything (not that acceptance letter, not the loss of that 15lbs you’re worried about, not that raise that your dumb boss is keeping from you, not that unfitted or even thriving relationship or whatever) to fill what you think is missing about you. You are whole. You are. Or at least you can be from your inside out, so go exploring internally. No other purchase necessary. Please know that. I think the poem I posted on here the other day, Steady, Steady, Sweet Soul, was me trying to show myself that very concept. 

The sparrows are still building a nest in my little birdhouse out front and it’s ridiculous how much time I’ve sat here watching them when I have so many other things I should be doing. It’s really cool to watch their new beginning, though. Will they have a family in there? Will baby sparrows learn to fly off that perch? I hope so. 

pondering
I do my best thinking with coffee in hand.

9 thoughts on “Sparrows and Silver Linings

  1. Just love you Jess. As always, your words bust straight to the point. I’m trying to do that too – to be enough for myself. I’m realising that’s the key to no longer thinking there’s a magic, missing link, which just ends up being an excuse for putting difficult things off till tomorrow (or till such and such happens). Although it’s in that struggle, that search for something, that we often achieve things. Life is very contradictory! Sending hugs – I’m a long way away but they’re good hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That moment that you realize the defining moments in your life have likely already happened is the moment you’ll set yourself free. It is doing easier said than done, I get that. It’s the struggle.

      I love hugs in all forms, digital or otherwise, and I’m so grateful that you connected with my words. Much love to you from down here in Texas ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne yusim

    Jessica, We are loving these girls more each day. Small progress, but I do think they like the new place. Sir let me put a halter on her today. The weekend will afford much more training time. Small steps, and lots of love ❤️. Cannot thank you enough for these two wonderful girls. You and yours are welcome anytime you are in our neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get choked up when I think of how grateful I am that you and Joel found us and rescued Sue and Maybell into their happily ever after. Baby steps are all part of it but it sounds like y’all are already miles ahead of where I was in my first week. So you’ll be great. I’m so glad we can stay connected again and do hope that our paths cross in the future!! Now I’ve got an excuse to come down to central Texas ❤️❤️❤️

      Like

  3. Pat Azlin

    I’d like to thank both you and Tink. I’ve mentioned before that you both have helped me see life around difficulties – in my case crippling daily headaches for over six years. I sought solace in your writings, and courage from Tink. Well, I just got the right procedure for my rare type of headache and would now like to Bray out a big thanks to both of you for your emotional support and inspiration. — “NamasBray.”

    Like

  4. Pingback: When Birds Fall – That Ranch Life

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