My posts may not be very interesting. My life isn’t filled with problems, and I don’t have issues to rant about as my friends can.
The worst thing that ever happened in my life? I guess I would say that it was my Grandma and her parents dying in the same two years, but even so, it wasn’t terrible. This is a story that I’ve heard. It’s a metaphor, a simile, for death. I don’t remember all of it, but this is what I do.
A beautiful Canary lived in a bird shop, where each and every bird was trapped in their own beautiful, ornate cage. Each one unlike the other. Their lives were perfectly wonderful. The very best they could imagine, within those yellow walls. The food came, same times, everyday. Same could be said for water. The Canary would sit atop her little swing, singing into the wind with her beautiful, heart filling voice.
There was a bird in this shop. A crazy one, as everyone thought of him. The Toucan used to ramble on, on, and on about the ‘World Beyond the Wall.’ What absurdity! This was all there was, all there’d ever be.
But there was some truth to his words. For, though they all denied it, there was a small window. A peephole into the world. They saw bright, vibrant, blinding colours, so much so that they were forced to turn their eyes. They heard loud, though muffled, voices, both of birds and others. It scared them. And they knew that when a human came to take you, you were gone. Never to return, never to come back to the cage they’d lived in their entire life.
The last bar bent. The Toucan sprang from his cage, a dart of colours out the window. The birds mourned, but eventually, moved on.
As time went on, life began to turn uncomfortable. The cage was rusted and bent, just as the Toucan’s had been. The Canary no longer had room to joyfully hop around, no room to spread her wings. The gold bars became sharp, and any contact caused pain.
The Canary started to understand the Toucan’s anguish, his instant lunge through the metal bars, the lack of hesitation. If the bars broke, she too, might leave. Yet the others didn’t understand her. Why would she go? She had everything she’d ever need, ever want… didn’t she?
When the door fell off her cage, clattering on the wooden floor, she sat there in silence. Other birds turned their heads in shock.
Then she eased herself slowly out. A wing, her head, her body.
She had room again. She flew, almost the first time, dodging the human’s grasping hands, out the window left ajar.
The world was bright, so bright. Loud, as well. And, when her eyes adjusted, she saw a familiar face.
The Toucan flapped off, wheeling in the wind. The Canary, too, drifted through the trees, her heart filling voice carried by the breeze.
So, in this story, the cages are the bodies, and the birds are the souls. As the body starts to get old, broken, and useless, the soul longs for freedom. Why are the birds afraid? Simply of the unknown. And you, perhaps, reading the story, were thinking to yourself, but the outside world is perfectly fine! But, do recall, the birds don’t know that. So what is the true reason that we, ourselves, are afraid of death? Perhaps, we’ll be reunited with our loved ones.
So go through your life, live it to your fullest, spread love, care, and build your virtues, your soul. Celebrate your loved one’s lives, for it is not a good bye. It’s a so long, for a while.