Lessons from a Robin in My Window

There is a robin frequenting the window ledge outside my office at City Hall.  I love the sight of robins in the spring.  They give me hope that the seasons are changing, new life is budding, and my world will be full of beauty.  This robin, however, does not seem to know that his presence is a sign of light-heartedness and simple pleasure.  He sits on the ledge angrily fussing at his reflection.  Pecking, squawking, and batting his wings at the imaginary threat in front of him.  At first, I was agitated by him.  The ruckus he caused was distracting.  I wanted him to understand how foolish he was for expending such energy and angst against himself.  Then it dawned on me that this robin indeed was a sign.  Not of the onset of spring or the promise of sunshine, but perhaps he was revealing my natural tendencies.  How many times do I forget the good surrounding me, instead of relishing life, and I fixate on a perceived threat?  I get worked up over what appears to be a battle that I must fight or a cause that I alone can save.  When in reality, I have over-reacted about what I’m face-to-face with.  It’s an election I’m not even running in.  It’s a fire truck that needs repair, despite the budget.  It’s a councilmember who just needs reassurance.  The world is really not against me.  I need to look around and see the real and wonderful truth that goodness is happening.  Children are playing on splash pads, squealing and laughing.  Residents are driving down smooth roads that once were ridden with potholes.  In the office next to mine, works a millennial with a passion for public service.

The robin is back, even as I write.  Today he is doing less pecking and more singing.  His song is whimsical and free.  Sounds like spring.  Sounds like hope.

(Article submitted by Emily Crawford, city manager, City of Brownwood. If you have interesting news or helpful topics to share, please submit them to Kim Pendergraft at kim@tml.org. Please keep the information to fewer than 750 words.)