How could we have known that wonderful afternoon of sharing and laughter was to be our last?
Wayne was excited about the upcoming “Vision Quest” Wilderness retreat. We spent hours talking about how great it was going to be to spend time in such a pristine and remote location in nature. The focus of the retreat was to become clear of our purpose in life. But…Wayne’s purpose was already complete. One week before the retreat he passed away.
When the Retreat began, I introduced Wayne’s energy to the group and invited his spirit to join us. It was a calm and beautiful sunny day. Everyone worked on their writing assignments. I reviewed my notes and was snacking on a handful of seeds when I noticed a small bird at my feet. Extending my hand, I offered a few morsels and to my surprise the bird hopped into my hand. It ate a few seeds, climbed up my arm, sat on my shoulder and then perched on top of my head. In time, it flew over to each participant.
Our new little friend seemed to check out what they were writing. From that moment on the little bird never left our group. Rather than fly, it walked on the ground and followed us like a small puppy dog. It was with us as we had our breakfast, lunches and also dinner. It even greeted me each morning outside my tent, as if waiting for me to get up.
I asked Art, the owner of the retreat, how long the bird had been there. He replied “I have never seen it before.” I then asked what kind of bird it was. As we looked through his bird book, we came upon a picture of a Thrush. “Here he is” exclaimed Art. At that moment, the bird flew over, landed on the book and curiously glanced down at the picture as if to confirm.
(I took the picture, below and to the left, of the thrush while it was perched on the book)
When the retreat came to a close, with the last boat waiting for our departure, I had one final look around the camp. As I walked on the dock back to the boat I could hear a small clicking sound. There at my feet was the little Thrush walking along side me. As I was about to board the boat, it flew into my hand. I told it that it needed to stay. It flew back down to the dock and watched us as the boat pulled away. I felt sad to say goodbye to our dear little friend.
Several months later I called Art and asked if the bird was still there. He replied, “I haven’t seen it since you left.”
So…I wonder; was this little Thrush our dear friend Wayne enjoying the retreat after all?!