Doves

white and brown bird on brown tree branch

I have two doves living in my yard.

They were born here and are just teenagers right now. They hang out together and are determined to venture out into the world and experience what life has to give them with no expectations or promises. They will do the best they can.

It seems birds are showing up everywhere to teach some valuable lessons. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about how bird watching is becoming very popular for its therapeutic qualities. Then I just viewed a story on CBS Sunday Morning about David Allen Sibley who is a renowned ornithologist and illustrator. He has written and illustrated many books on the birds of North America.

And if that wasn’t enough someone recently won an opportunity to have their book published on, you guessed it, birdwatching and its healing properties. Seems like the trend is grabbing us to say stop and look around. The author said to look up at the flutter of color to find solace and guidance from our feathered friends.

So back to my doves. This is the second group of doves this year that has been born in my yard and although I enjoyed the first siblings I have really noticed this second pairing. I have gone out of my way to watch their whole journey from birth to teenagers to young adults flying away to start their new life. I wished they would like to stay forever as I did for my son but I know that I have to let go and let them fly.

Wicked

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better. I do believe I have been changed for the better. And because I knew you I have been changed for good.”

Ok, humor me. I am on a Broadway run through this pandemic as I find it makes me happy especially when I’m singing along and dancing. Yes, I look ridiculous but no one else is here but me and where I live is social distancing heaven so my neighbors aren’t disturbed. Believe me, being home so much can be trying in the best of circumstances. I’m so grateful for having my home.

The latest hurdle is when to open schools. The quote from Wicked is for the teacher or teachers who came into my life and saved me. In high school, I had William Penman as a drama teacher. He was so passionate about the arts so much so that he arranged for the drama class from a Cincinnati, Ohio public school to see Marcel Marceau. Marceau was undisputedly one of the best mimes who ever lived. He created an entire world on an empty stage challenging our imaginations far beyond our world.

Mr. Penman knew he needed to expand our minds past what we thought was possible. That’s what good teachers do. They show us what is possible and then let us decide where we need to go in our lives. That is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Our teachers are this world’s future so yes I will get up on my soapbox as much as possible to defend them.

I taught university for seven years and it was some of the happiest days of my life. Not only did it give me the opportunity to learn what I needed to teach but also knowing that I was hopefully helping my students create their future world. I know they helped me create mine. They gave me the hope and courage to take chances I didn’t believe I could do on my own.

I still use the lessons my teachers taught me and love the fact that I am still learning. It gives me the energy to move through each day. To be able to sing, dance and studying. To create and listen and watch all of the amazing teachers that are available right now.

“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true. But I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.”

For Good. Wicked

Glee

As months go on without knowing when I will be going back to work and looking for something to quell my anxiousness, I started watching Glee. I never paid much attention to it when it was in its heyday. But with a pandemic, having never lived through one, it tends to make you do things you wouldn’t normally do.

I was looking for something to take my mind off the day to day news and have always loved musicals so this seemed the perfect fit when I was surfing the many options we now have in TV land.

I have to say from the moment I tuned into the pilot I was hooked. I found myself watching sometimes four in a row not because of the storyline but because of the amazing talent that this show put together. Yes, it’s about a group of high school kids who are being looked upon as misfits and are thrown together in a glee club. That’s a lot of singing and dancing and competition. But it was so well done and the talent so immense I was addicted to the show every night.

There was one character in particular that I immediately fell for as I’m sure so many did because he was so well, likable. There was a sweetness to him that made him sexy and vulnerable. Not to mention his powerful voice.

It was Finn. I will say there were some whose voices were definitely stronger but when Finn sang it melted your heart. Well, my heart anyway. Off-screen he seemed quiet and shy which made me like him even more. Everyone who spoke of him said how funny and talented he was but he also had a dark secret.

Cory Monteith (his real name) was an addict. He had an addiction since he was a young man and had fought to stay clean. He seemed to be winning the battle for a while until finally, it took his life at 31 years old. That’s my son’s age so his youth was close to home. As I was watching him perform as well as all of the others I was in awe and even envious of how lucky they were to have such talent. I have always thought that if I had that kind of talent I wouldn’t have a care in the world. Everything would be perfect.

Addiction is tough even in the best of circumstances. On the outside, Cory seemed to have the world at his feet and yet it wasn’t enough. These are difficult times right now and people are trying to live with uncertainty and fear of what the outcome will be. Now more than ever we need to really focus on our mental health issues. Depression is real and not a “condition” we can wish away. I encourage everyone to seek help even if you think you don’t need it. Just knowing you aren’t alone is the first step.

There are so many agencies out there to help. I have seen a therapist many times and I am not embarrassed in the least to say so. When I was younger I went through a dark period and turned to therapy. Even today it has helped me get through tough times in my life. Having someone listen who is totally objective puts clarity on things that sometimes are too cloudy for me to see. I urge anyone who feels lost now to reach out for help. Whether there be a pandemic or not, just knowing you’re not alone can make all the difference in the world.

Healing takes time and asking for help is a courageous step. Or to quote Albert Camus, “In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”