Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Isn't it great to DO things with friends?
Instead of the usual fighting over discarded food, stalking and molesting each other, and picking on the weak and maimed, these pigeons were enjoying a spa experience in the city-centre, riverside fountains this morning.
In warm sunshine.
Bathing their contaminated little feet, enjoying the cool spray on their manky old feathers.
Looking better, feeling better.
A sense of calm purpose enveloped them.
Later in the day they won't be able to get near the fountains. The toddlers will be there (also bathing their little feet, but we'll pass over that thought). But in the early morning sun the place was theirs, and they had come together in a crowd, aware of each other, offering protection in numbers, but each enjoying their own experience.
Elsewhere in this early morning, the same community spirit was strong. A great many senior citizens, equipped with Cool-Boxes and sun-hats were making their purposeful way over the bridge to the cricket ground. This is Worcester, I'm talking about, and it is clearly a Big Day.
The same sense of calm purpose was there, the same intent to enjoy the shared experience.
It is said that many of us have three types of community; family, work and other.
'Other' is what we chose to join in with, paddling in the fountain, watching cricket, learning French, playing golf, volunteering for a service.
Not all of us are fortunate enough to have these varieties of community, and many of us lose all or parts of them at different times. It happens, for instance, with retirement, bereavement and when the children leave home. Life gets out of balance, communities change and there is a sometimes difficult and painful period of readjustment.
We don't generally choose our work community (unless we own the whole set-up), and we don't choose our extended families. Blessed are they who find deep compatibility and harmony therein. Challenged are the rest of us.
However, we can chose the 'Other'.
It takes energy and discrimination, and, in my case, a fair bit of trial and error.
I'm working on it; the need for shared enjoyment and the appreciation of calm purpose.
This morning I watched the pigeons. Contaminated feet or not, they got it right today.