Today I witnessed something beautiful, and a purposeful analogy found its way into my mind. It occurred to me as I sat in the backseat of a dinky, old, red car as we rumbled down a dirt road, surrounded by Chilean farmland. The spinning tires constantly flung up the rocks on the road and I could feel it in my feet as they thumped against the bottom of the car. The tiny vehicle was not well suited for the road we were on, but it transported us safely all the same.
The surrounding beauty was not something I’m used to. That kind of nature doesn’t exist where I come from. There were fields stretching farther than the eye could see. It was a density of green that I’m not too familiar with, and it was contrasted starkly yet gorgeously with the bright blue sky and its fluffy white clouds. There were rivers and streams every so often, and towering trunks that sprung up in the midst of the fields, sometimes in pairs, sometimes all alone. We drove for miles and there was nothing else but nature. It was pure tranquility.
Then came the moment that struck a chord deep within me. From the moment it caught my eye to the instant my brain had processed everything, less than a few seconds had passed. To me, it was reflective and powerful.
We were barreling along the dirt road, as I said, and out my window was a long line of trees marking the boundary between the road and the field. They were not wimpy trees, but rather thick and bountiful trunks. In the distance, of course, was nature at its most beautiful: endless fields, pure skies, swirling clouds, and numerous colors mixed in between. When I focused my gaze on the tree line, the background grew quite fuzzy. When I set my eyes in the distance, the trees became a constant blur in the foreground. And then, something caught my eye.
Just the other side of the tree line flew a small bird, delicate but strong. When I fixed my eyes on this bird, I realized that he was flying at exactly the same speed as the car was driving. He neither rushed ahead nor fell behind. He was constant and unwavering. And when I locked my eyes on him, both the trees beside and the fields beyond were in constant motion, the trees passing rapidly and the fields more slowly, but the bird was perfectly still.
That bird represents everyone in my life whom I love, and that loves me back. They are always there with me, steady and unwavering. Even when I look away or am distracted, they are there. They are ever dependable and always trustworthy. They will always be there alongside me, come what may.
The trees in the foreground are people and places or even things that come into my life but for a short while. Soon thereafter, however, they are gone. They are like a blur. The fields in the background are those people, places, or things that last a little longer. They don’t disappear in an instant but neither do they stick around. They may even look beautiful for a while, but they too pass.
In life we are susceptible to distractions. We sometimes focus so much on these distractions that we forget to love and cherish the people most dear to us. The good thing, however, is that they are always there. They are not quick to bolt like the trees that blur by. Nor are they the fields that eventually fade into the past. The people whom we truly love, and who truly love us, are like this bird: constant and unwavering.