A bird flew into the side of my face on my 5:00 walk to the parking garage. Yes, you read that right. A bird flew. into. the side. of my face. It had already been one of those Wednesdays where everything that could fall down or snap in half or decide not to work, DID. So it only made sense that it would also be the day a bird would forget about depth perception and fly into my head instead of over it. But the best part? I was walking with two good friends who kept on, straight ahead, in deep conversation, after one had glanced over to witness me wildly shielding my face amidst a flock of birds. Apparently she was unaware that my crazed reaction was an unsuccessful attempt to dodge a drunken bird.
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary, and in brief synopsis, the first year of marriage was a little bit like having a bird fly into the side of your face. Because whether you are getting unexpectedly hit in the face by a bird or by a marriage, you will momentarily feel as if you might die in the current situation (or at least lose an eye and some beauty points). You will then face the aftershocks as you try to process WTF (*abbreviation inserted for my sweet grandmother who will undoubtedly read this post and thankfully not know what that means) just happened to you. You may then experience some embarrassment and surprise at your own reaction to the situation, as well as some judgment of the bird who seems to have failed at his one job.
But then, as it sinks in that neither the left side of your face nor the marriage are permanently damaged, you will likely find yourself laughing over the fact that you managed to survive such an unpredicted onslaught. You may even come to appreciate the small boost in confidence that has come with discovering your own resilience. This may then be followed by some new-found admiration for the bird whose strength has kept him flying long after your collision.
And as the bird’s wings heal and the side of your face stops twitching from the impact, as the bird keeps braving to fly and your legs keep stepping one foot in front of the other, as time passes and the chaotic incident disappears from the rearview mirror, it may start to sink in how miraculous it is that the birds and the bees and you were all created to survive the unexpected. Wonder may bubble up from your insides over the idea that shocks and pains and wounds can somehow, someway, someday be overcome through a good cry (or many good cries) and a solid sense of humor. The epiphany may spark like a match that (as much as you may sometimes wish it wasn’t so) you would never learn a damn thing if the pigeon always flew over your head instead of straight into it.
Public Safety Alert: Beware of flying birds.