Friday, May 30, 2014

Rare Bird

Yesterday Jules and I took a walk over in the open space by our house.

We saw bunnies and prairie dogs and heard lots of birds chirping.  I'm not a bird person, but I think most of the birds we saw and heard were your normal, run of the mill black bird or small brown chirp, chirp, chirpy bird.

On our second lap we heard something different.  Not chirping but a coo. A soft gentle coo, coo. Not far from us just off the path was a small gray bird, close to the ground, about to land on a rock. It's wings were flapping like a humming bird but it was much bigger than a humming bird.When it settled on the rock I could see beautiful dark blue markings near it's wings, contrasting it's soft gray color. It continued it's soft cooing as we stopped to observe.  I'd never seen a bird like this before, it was different, it was beautiful!

"Julia, oh my goodness, this is a special bird! A very special bird. A rare bird.... Just like you! My little rare bird."

I wish this is how the world could see Julia and people like her. Special and unique and exquisite and rare.

Why is it we can see the beauty in other species: dogs, cats, birds, fish, bugs, plants - but not in our own?

Why is it that something rare and different among other species is considered exotic and valuable, but among our own is considered defective and wrong?

For other species we fight to protect and preserve the rare. But in our own we seem hell bent on killing them off. For many it is considered a positive thing to "catch" a difference early enough so that it can be "disposed" of.  And those we don't kill off in time, well then we spend the rest of their lives doing everything we can to force them into something closer to us, closer to your average chirp, chirp, chirpy "normal" bird.

My Rare Bird
Why?  Why can't a rare bird simply be a rare bird.

When people look at Julia with disgust (sadly it does happen), I want to say to them (well first I want to punch them, and then I want to say to them), "People, you have no idea what you are witnessing!  This is the rarest of the rare type of human.  Scientists believe there is only one like her in the whole world, possibly in all of history. You are among the lucky few in all mankind getting the chance to see such a rare specimen. Take her in. Watch how she moves and interacts, it's fascinating.  No, she won't make the same sounds as you do, but listen closely to her beautiful cooing, isn't that amazing."

There is so much to celebrate in the diversity of our species.

Why are we scared of the rare bird among us when we could be in awe?


  1. This is beautiful. And I'm with you- let's celebrate our rare birds. xo

  2. What a joyous, beautiful and loving description of sweet Julia. She is amazing and your words warm my heart. I hope we can spend more time together. More people need to read your words of wisdom Laurie so they truly can understand Julia's world and how incredible she is. Thank you for sharing this story in a way for others can truly appreciate that differences are what make us all special. It's truly a pertinent topic as I see how kids and adults are judged daily for not conforming or being just like whatever someone thinks is "normal". My son is very social and loving and enjoys talking and singing. He has been harshly judged this year, as I guess it's not "normal" for a nine year old boy to have such joy in his heart and not judge others. It's been a slap in the face this year and I really don't know how to help him see that he is a wonderful caring person. He hurts inside and his heart has been crushed by kids that think he should act like jock boy or mr. Cool. I am sure you have insight. But I mention it because those people who look with "disgust" and judgement, they are the ones missing something in their own hearts. And their looks of disgust is a reflection of their own fears. They are so wrapped up in their own sorrow, they cannot see the joy and beauty in others. Hugs and kisses to you all. Again, you are an amazing mom. You never cease to amaze me with your strength wisdom and insight. What an honor it is to read your thoughts.

  3. This is both beautiful and SO true. If only.