Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Caged Bird

I took a walk this evening around my neighborhood and realized that on this May 4, 2008, it has been since late last fall that I have taken this walk. Shameful. I love my walks and because of way too much travel and cold weather and excuses I have simply not forced myself out of my house. Weather be damned, most of the time in Kentucky it's not severe enough to keep me from walking at least once or twice a week. Oh, of course there can be snow in the winter and days of rain in the spring, but honestly, it's a crutch and I know it.

I will allow myself the excuse of not actually being present in my neighborhood when I travel for work. I mean, it's certainly understandable that I cannot be walking around my block when I'm living out of a hotel room in Phoenix, correct? (We won't even mention that I could be walking on a treadmill while watching Jeopardy in that hotel, okay?) This isn't about exercise. This is about being present in my life. About living in my neighborhood. About having the opportunity to take the walk around the block.

Am I present in my life? Sometimes I'm not sure. Often, life goes by so quickly I'm not sure whether I'm present or doing a drive-by. And I'm getting to the place in life where I'm pretty certain I don't like it. Maybe that's why I picked up The New Earth, the other day. If it's good enough for Oprah...

Okay, okay, some of you may have been following the theme here of late. I'm in a crux. I'm doing a balancing act and wondering when all the balls are going to fall. I'm a Libra, okay? And when the balance gets out of whack for me weird things happen. Not to mention that Mercury goes retro in a couple of weeks again. Don't even want to go there and need to be prepared for that uphill state of being. I'm at a point where I need more from one part of my life and less from the other. I'm trying to figure it all out.

At any rate, back to the walk. It felt good to be walking, stretching my muscles, nodding hello to people (actual people live in my neighborhood!) and listen to birds and watch a hot air balloon float over my head. I noticed houses that have gone up over the winter and people have already moved in. I didn't know they were there. I've been absent in my neighborhood and I sorta don't like it.

For some reason, the phrase I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings kept rattling around in my head while walking. So, I found the poem by Maya Angelou and re-read it. It seemed apropos for the mood. Here you go.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.
Maya Angelou

Hope your Sunday evening is going well. I think I'll sit out on my patio with a glass of tea and watch the birds.

maddie
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