Chickadee was stuck in our garage the other day. Even though both doors of our 2-car garage were wide open, this bird couldn't find its way out. Its usual means of escape, to fly up and away, was thwarted by the ceiling. It needed to change its tactics. Escape required diving and then flying level. I even tried to attract it toward the bottom of an opening by making tweeting and chirping sounds. But it was too confused to hear my message.
Eventually I found a toy butterfly net. After Chickadee tired itself out a bit, I slowly approached its perch. I used my free hand to nudge it from behind into the net that I thrust up in front of it. I managed to capture the bird briefly, long enough to bring it lower and closer to the opening. Screaming fiercely, it made one frantic burst of flight straight for the opening and out to freedom.
We humans can find ourselves stuck just like Chickadee. We may know something's wrong with a situation. But we don't change our tactics to find a way out. There may even be signs that lead us out of the situation, but we're too deeply mired to read them. Then one day, we are nudged from behind by a huge hand of Illness or Job Loss and then trapped by a net of Financial Obligation or a Complex Relationship. If we act boldly and if we are lucky we can find our way out.
My wife was healthy and energetic up until an unexpected crisis one early September morning forced us to race to the nearest emergency room. And I, after 20 years of uneventful employment at the same company, suddenly found nine fewer coworkers at the office. Those nine were laid off with no warning. One had just bought his first house. Another had worked at the company for thirty years, ten years longer than me. I avoided the net this time. But what about next time?
What messages of escape are you ignoring, frightened bird?