There is a “going for it” story behind these feathers. Sort of gross, but for me it was an example of proactivity this week.
I know you are thinking “Who needs proactivity if it involves a gross story about bird feathers?”
Really, it is not a story about the grossness, it is a story about building up the courage to do something in order to accomplish some goals.
So, along about Monday I noticed that there was a dead bird in the road just as I turn off to J’s school road. And it is clearly a field bird had been hit by a car. It made me a little sad, because it was obviously a beautiful bird.
For those of you who do not live in Montana, something you have to understand about our roads here – nobody ever cleans up the mess of road kill. The animals just stay where they were hit and stink up the place, (especially the every so commonly hit skunks) until they are eaten by the birds and other scavengers, or until they are flattened into the road surface and no longer recognizable as anything more than a dark spot in the paving material.
Yes, I know, that is gross (but don’t say I didn’t warn you).
Anyway, when I saw that bird on Monday I thought about how beautiful its feathers were, and how I would love to have a collection of them for my art – yes, the art I plan to do in my mind, but have a hard time finding the occasion to actually implement. Still, I could think of several past opportunities to use feathers – and the feathers of that bird dead in the road would have been so much nicer than my beat-up collection of chicken feathers from my friends farm.
But, I am not one for approaching dead things, so the feathers were just a pipe dream.
I saw them again on Tuesday, not yet pressed into the pavement by the cars whizzing by at the posted 40 miles an hour for that road – oh, and don’t get me started on the way this town has 20 mile an hour zones for blocks around all the public schools, but somehow manages to increase the speed limit to 35 or 40 right in front of the two Christian schools. Lets just say, I have an issue with that!
Anyway, I passed the bird on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday as I went to do yard-duty for lunch recess. It was still in tact enough that I could tell the feathers were usable for art. And they were so beautiful. And I wanted them for that art work that is taking place in my head.
Believe it or not, as I was leaving the school on Wednesday I finally got proactive, stopped at the intersection, and ran into the road to see if they were salvageable – don’t worry, I looked both ways for cars before I darted out there.
Sure enough, there were masses of intact, beautiful feathers.
Suddenly, my left hand was reaching down and pulling what I assumed was the wing, and my right hand followed by grabbing a bunch of downie feathers that had a beautiful pattern on the tip (see photo above).
There, it was done! I had the feathers I wanted, and darted back to the sidewalk. And I looked and realized.
The wing piece had some flesh with it.
Not at all what I wanted or needed. And I was stuck there on the side of the road with cars whizzing by, holding it. Not wanting to let go of the precious beautiful feathers, but not wanting that raw-chicken-looking flap to come with me.
So before my brain could register the gravity of the situation and begin the freak-out I felt coming, I bent down, let the flap hit the sidewalk, stepped on it, and pulled the rest away.
I had feathers in a bunch, but no flap of dried-out-raw-chicken-looking stuff. And I tried not to even consider the bottom of my shoe – I figured whatever was there would walk off before I got back to the truck or needed to inspect it.
Jumped back in the truck, found a used ziplock sandwich bag which would accommodate my treasure, and set them in.
Big sigh as I drove away! I got what I wanted despite the fact that it wasn’t in my comfort zone.
And I kept that bag in the truck until this morning. Every time I looked at it I was so pleased with myself for taking the initiative to get it. Made me feel good.
By the way, on Wednesday when I went back to the school to pick J up for the day my eyes were naturally drawn to that spot in the road where that dead bird lay. And it was gone. If I had taken even a couple more hours of building up my nerve to go get those feathers, I would have lost the opportunity.
So, there you have it, proactivity in the going for it.