Sunday, January 5, 2014

a new year, a new bird

It's a new year, so around here that means a new bird.  I am guessing that within another year we will have exhausted most of the local over-wintering possibilities around here but we don't seem to be changing this tradition soon.  Maybe some year we'll find ourselves in Hawaii or Mexico or somewhere with some exotic migrants at this time of year, but until then, it's mostly the small winter survivors for us.  Ani is going from being a titmouse in 2013 to its close cousin, the black-capped chickadee in 2014. The folklore I've found suits both species, and is a good fit for this little, happily chirping girl.  This year she shares her bird with Dan.  (It wasn't a hard guess - this little guy's been at our feeder faithfully every morning!)

Chickadee is associated with the thinking process, higher mind and higher perceptions.
It is also associated with mystery and the feminine.
Chickadee can help you uncovering the mysteries of the mind.
With a Chickadee totem,
you can perceive more clearly in the dark and understand higher truths.
Chickadees are a social bird, usually traveling in groups,
and this is reflected in their totem people.
They love being with people and are usually cheerful and fearless.
For the Cherokee, Chickadee is the bird of truth.
People with this totem always tell the truth, no matter how much it hurts –
however, with Chickadee’s help, they can learn to express the truth in a manner
that heals, balances and opens the perceptions.
Truth can be shared in a way that adds joy to everyone’s lives. (LinsDomain)

I love this, and especially for these two people in my life.  They are definitely truth-tellers, and who couldn't benefit from learning how to express the truth in a manner that heals and balances?

Eliza and I were reluctant to share the chickadee.  I was also not really wanting the hardy sparrow from last year.  Knowing we were heading out on our annual hike, we kind of, um, averted our eyes (ok, Eliza blindfolded herself with her hat) until we got to the park.

our band photo. casual, cheerful, very fashionable.
 While we heard lots of flocks of small birds making their way through the trees, it wasn't until we left the park, after our hike, that we actually saw any birds! It was a little disconcerting, but finally, a robin flew across the road ahead of us. My bird!  Most of the folklore I have found regards the robin as sacred; any damage to the bird or its eggs brings harm or death to the perpetrator.  It is also a weather forecaster: "If it sang high in the trees, fair weather was supposed to follow, but if a robin stayed close to a house all autumn, a harsh winter was thought to lie ahead." (Folklore of Birds)

A Robin totem will stimulate new growth in all areas of your life. 
Believe in yourself as you move forward. 
Obstacles will fall by the wayside if you do and confrontations will be for show only. 
This totem gives you the ability to will new growth into your life. 
Meditate on Robin and the correct path will be revealed to you. (LinsDomain)

Eliza finally, amidst some panic that she might not see a bird on the first of the year, spotted a crow. I love the crows. So must she - this is the second time she's spotted one as her bird (see what I mean? Cycling through all of the local varieties...).

Crows are the keepers of the Sacred Law
and to have a Crow totem is very powerful.
Personal Integrity are your watchwords and your guide in Life.
If you have a Crow totem, your prime path
is to be mindful of your opinions and actions.
You must be willing to walk your talk,
to speak your truth and to know your life's mission.
Crow is a omen of Change.
Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time,
therefore, it sees past, present and future simultaneously.
Crow merges both light and dark, both inner and outer.
It is the totem of the Great Spirit and must be respected as such.
They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength.
Look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life.
Crows are messengers calling to us
about the creation and magic that is alive in the world today
and available to us. (LinsDomain)

Creation and magic are definitely a part of Eliza's constitution. 

And...then we crashed.  The photo below tells much of the story: the bed, the couch, some tea, the bathtub, the bed, the couch, some tea, the bathtub - on repeat, with little variation.  We have been laid low by the flu, which is a wonderful call to stop and be still.   

So, that's us in the new year! Starting quiet...
This is what Ani brought downstairs with her today to make her feel better
while she hung out on the couch. Sister love.


merry said...

Thank you for sharing the crow with me this year, Eliza. We, who are to be respected. We, with the loud voices. We, who are strong and wise. OK, and can be bossy too! For a minute there I was hoping you were feeling well enough to go on a hike, but....not so much, huh? Stay warm!

Kerry said...

You know I love this tradition of yours & I completely forgot to do it. We have a few different types of birds hanging out, too, because I put out a different seed mix. Dang.