November 13, 2022
Looking back, blue birds have been significant in my life. Growing up in a Camp Fire Girls culture, I was a Blue Bird until I flew up after a sufficient passage of time and effort. I thoroughly enjoyed acquiring those color coded beads that signified achievement in activities like reading, academics, basic domestic chores, and even international travel. It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I can’t remember ever getting a bead for cooking.
My other significant blue bird encounter came in a sweat lodge during my first vision quest. Through a guided journey we were to make contact with an animal guide. After the journey, we were asked to name the animal that came to us. Deer, cougar, bear, blue heron, wolf. As these and other powerful animals were spoken in the darkness, I was determined to say nothing. For clearly unlike the other journey experiences, I encountered a flock of small blue birds in a Disney princess animation. Seriously? I hoped that somehow my teacher would forget I was there. But of course she didn’t and when she finally called on me to speak and a meek blue bird of happiness flew out of my mouth I could sense her eye rolling amid the stifled giggles in the lodge. We would explore this again another time.
The blue bird flying through social media has not been significant in my life for many of the reasons it now seems to be in trouble. Basically there’s a lack of information integrity. The tweeted messages often lack veracity, civility, and human decency. You just can’t trust that bird song. It’s sad that so many hang on every note.
There was a time when bird songs were considered to hold valuable messages from the natural world, a time when communication with the natural world was considered essential to the human world. I’ve written about this from the Irish cultural perspective, but it’s a global indigenous perspective as reflected in this message from Grandmother Bernadette Rebienot, one of the Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.
It’s time to ditch the social media bird. It’s time to turn again to authentic communication. With each other and the natural world. In that communication are the messages of hope and peace and possibility we so need in our world right now.
Indeed, what might be possible if we were to listen to those songs? I would suggest we would find tweets of true wisdom.