An Unexpected Friend

A sprained ankle has kept me at home with my foot elevated and enveloped in an ice pack. My mood was far worse than the pain from my swollen ankle. I missed my workouts, my friends at the gym and moving around quickly and easily. I no longer live full time in NYC, but I still always walk as if the crosswalk light is blinking and I’m still half a block away. 

When I woke up this morning, my ankle felt different.  I had slept through the night without any pain and when I gingerly put weight on my left foot, it felt ok. A little stiff, but no pain. I looked out my window at sunny, blue skies and decided to try a short walk. 

It was slow going and I was walking with a slight limp, but I was thrilled to be walking at all! Before the sprain, my walk was an hour long power walk with arm weights. While I enjoyed it, it was done on auto-pilot and something to check off my to do list. It wasn’t something I savored or that inspired deep gratitude. 

Today, with each step my smile grew wider and my heart felt lighter. I was seeing my street with new eyes, noticing things that had barely registered before. I stopped to admire a tree with clusters of brilliant lemon yellow flowers. It was stunning against the cornflower sky. As I stood there, I noticed a tiny bird perched on a branch.

As if sensing my admiration,  it opened its mouth and started to chirp. Delighted, I took out my phone to get some video. As I played back the video, I noticed the little bird looking around inquisitively. When the video ended, the little bird started singing again. Was it responding to what it thought was another bird? I played the video again and sure enough the little bird responded with a song. Each time, it seemed to sing more beautifully.

Clearly, it was impressed with the musical ability of this other bird and wanted to impress as well!  This went on for nearly 20 minutes during which I took 17 videos of my little friend. I can’t remember the last time I stood still for 30 seconds on a walk. My friend tired of our game before I did, flying out of the tree and directly over my head as if to say goodbye. I stood there for a few more minutes, still savoring our “duet”. 

As I slowly walked home, I thought about God’s unfailing grace in all things big and small. If not for my sprained ankle and slow pace, I would not have met my unexpected friend.

Shared by Patricia Wu

2 responses to “An Unexpected Friend”

  1. I love this, Patricia! I feel like I was with you. Experiences like this are how I’m, hopefully, staying somewhat sane these days.

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