On Perching

One afternoon while I trudged around the park feeling exhausted and wanting to simply unwind, I saw a little bird that caught my attention.  Its black, grey and white feather is nonetheless striking but the beak and feet has that conspicuous orange and yellowish tone. It is a tiny but pretty bird. As I sat down on a bench, I’ve noticed that this little bird was unperturbed by the dense traffic and the incessant honking of horns. It remains unfazed by the irate swans and territorial ducks swimming around him. Never flitting. Sitting still. Right on top of a piece of wood in the middle of a moat. Its location is quiet and secluded. It seems to be in a pensive mood, relaxed and secured. Probably pondering on whether to go away somewhere or stay in its current location. Or probably weary of the day’s labour or exhausted from searching food or simply feeling harassed and running away from the chasing dog and the crowd of people traipsing around the park. The bird has chosen a strategic location up above every creature around him where he can gaze on the surrounding area.

Watching that little bird reminded me of a basic principle of life. I suppose the bird does what all of us are required to do on similar days. When we need to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life; when we are burdened with cares and concerns; when the pressures of daily living had sapped our physical and emotional strength, do we not benefit from locating a strategic perch from which to sit? Perching is a form or relaxation and is not a panacea for all ills, but can have a beneficial effect on a number of stress related physiological and psychological health problems. Don’t you think that perching is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking? My perch has been this bench, and I imagine I am not too far off the mark if I inquire whether the chair you now sit upon is your perch?