The first thing I saw was his red underbelly. It was just a flash in the undergrowth. Then I heard him sing. It’s a chaotic song that goes up and down and the falls apart in a tangle. I could hear him sing over and over, but I could not see him.
Then he showed himself. A Painted Bunting is one of my favorite birds. My mom loved them. When I was young we searched for them. This was the first one that I had seen since I got my new lense. I really wanted him.
I lifted the camera. I focused on his eye. I pushed the shutter. Nothing. I scratched my head and tried several times and then realized. My battery was dead. I had to leave the bird and make my way back to the car. I got anew battery and then tried to require contact.
I stopped and got quiet. Then he sang. Slowly I threaded my way through the trees stopping and listening. Each time I would adjust my course as the bird toyed with me.
Finally, he came out and stood on a top branch. He sang and sang and sang. I thought of my mom and could almost hear her voice in the song. I snapped a slew of pictures.
Praying is listening. It’s reconnecting to the voice that called you into being. God spoke and the world was created. Sometimes we have to get quiet to hear his voice and then we have put ourselves into position to hear him again and again.