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free spirit:
someone or something who lives by their own wishes & is unconstrained by society.

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if i loved myself, I would…

a wise woman I know invited everyone on a team I am apart of to complete that sentence.  

if i loved myself, I would…

she instructed us to say it 10 times in a row and write the first thoughts that came to mine.  one, on my list of 30, was receive more time each week at the park.  there are a few things on that list that will take some time and more courage to make a reality, but more time each week at the park… effective immediately.

each week i make my way to the park for some stillness and me time. yesterday i went to the park and had a series of firsts.  for the first time since college, i rode a bike.  i rented one of the b-cycle bikes and made my way around the park a time or two.  it was such a fun adventure.

for the first time since starting my weekly visits to the park i got to feed the birds yesterday.  not only did i feed the birds but i experienced the entire landscape and encountered the vast array of bird life that inhabits the space. i was there for hours.

beautiful… all of the birds were absolutely beautiful, and i am grateful i allowed myself to see them all.  typically all of my part time is received with the pigeons/doves.  i have a preference for pigeons/doves.  i know where they hang, the best times to catch them and how to move amongst them.

however, this particular visit i was not alone. i was with a member from my church community, who asked me Sunday if I would meet her at the park to feed the birds.  she had picked up some extra loaves from the day shelter that were going bad, and really wanted to take it to the birds at the park. and she was determined for each one of them to get an equal share of food. she kept reminding me, “all of the birds need food, pastor lanecia. you cannot just give to some of.

so, we kept it moving. we would pause for some time to be present with each flock.  we would love on the birds of in one area and then move on to the next hangout spot to spread the bread love around.

it was life-giving…really allowing myself to let go of my preferences for a while and take in the art of each winged creation freely there for my eyes to marvel in awe & wonder.

for the first time i got a glimpse of the unique characteristic of the different birds species co-existing at the park, the boundaries by which they live and the politics of the pond.  i was totally captivated by all of their ways.

but i kept coming back to the pigeons.

my eyes were drawn to the them. i could not totally abandoned my preference.  not sure why, but there is  strange pull when it comes to pigeons. despite how bizarre or crazy it may seem, lately i just try to be present to whatever is pulling me and allow whatever it is to simply be.

here are a few of the insta-stories the pulling allowed me to create with my iPhone yesterday…

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imagine if you will the sounds of a little boy yelling “PIGEONS!!!” and the wonder that happened as a result. a breathtaking dance

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Consider the Birds:Provocative Guide of Birds in the Bible by Debbie Blue… is taking me on a journey friends.

Like this morning at the park… I
watched the pigeon’s dance while they ate. I figured it out and stood at a spot where I could feel them hovering over me during their move from the ground to the tree. It was awesome, such a cool experience.

30 or so pigeons hovered over me for a few seconds, I could feel the wind from the flapping of their wings just falling upon me and I got pooped on.

Pooped on! I laughed. First time ever Photographing birds I got pooped on, and it will not be the last.

I thought to myself, what’s Love trying to tell me. Then it hit me, you know, shit happens some times when we hang with the Spirit and walk step through this life. We get pooped on some times and we respond in the way we need to (I laughed today, but tomorrow I might have freaked out or been upset) and if we have the strength,

the necessary tools (I had sanitizer & tissue in my art bag that was with me),

if it doesn’t kill us (it fell on my hand… If it had been my hair… Um… Not sure how I would have handled it),

resources and

wisdom

and courage

we wash it off and keep on moving at the pace we need to move.

I know I could have been popped on some more as I stood there and chances are I will get pooped on again one of these days as I continue my photographic journey with the birds, but I won’t stop. I’ll just free myself to respond to the shit however I need to, wash it off in time and keep on. Gosh, I cannot imagine missing out on the beauty of this adventure…

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"Christianity is a way, not a state, and a Christian is never something one is, only something one can pray to become." W.H. Auden

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Ponderings of Days Gone Bye