This morning as I sat at my desk around 6am cuddling my first cup of coffee, I heard the roar of the trash truck coming down the street and I was hit with the startling realization that it was trash day.
I went into overdrive. I cinched up the belt of my sorry, balding, chenille-shedding hot pink robe, turned up the collar, and like a super hero I sprinted towards the cold garage to lug a mountain of post-Christmas crud to the curb before the trash guys passed by.
Mission accomplished. Infused with adrenaline and brisk morning air, I jogged back up the driveway anxious to get back to my warm house and my coffee.
But over the groan and rattle of the descending garage door I heard something — small and delicate and pleading. I cast a quick glance over my shoulder into the dim light of the garage but saw nothing unusual. Probably another new squeak in an aging garage door I thought. The garage door shut with a thud, faded to black and I turned once again to go into the house. But there it was again, a tiny pitiful voice calling out of the darkness, “Sweeee! Sweeee!”
It was not a rusty garage door that called to me. It was some thing.
I raised the door again to let in the light of day. Perched on a shelf on the other side of the garage was a tiny bird. She did not immediately fly away to freedom, but paused to look at me from across the garage. “Sweeee! Sweee!” she cried again. And then she cocked her head in an unusual way and escaped off into the morning sunlight.
I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions or set goals; I don’t know where I want to be in five years, other than alive. But as I watched that little bird fly away, I realized that this year I want to do better at listening for the still small overlooked voices in my world.