As I was walking my two dogs in the woods the other day, I came upon a Robin’s egg; a bright blue broken jewel tossed carelessly onto the ground.
There is no other blue like that in the whole wide world. Sure, Tiffany tries to copy it, wraps it around expensive trinkets and embosses it with their timeless name, but really, it doesn’t even come close.
This fragment of a shell was such a blue, laying discarded on the loamy path near a clump of wild grass, that it stopped me short, my dogs bumping into my legs behind me. I bent down to pick it up, gently, gently, and peered at it. Inside it was plain, as plain as any egg, but on the outside, a tiny, perfect bowl of saturated blue.
I wondered if that egg had hatched and if so, where the hatchling was and how he was. Was he tucked neatly into a nest above my head waiting for his mother to bring him a nice fat, wiggly worm?
Or had he fallen from his tree and released his life anonymously, his wide red beak growing weak and closing as he called for help?
Or, had this egg simply been rolled out of the nest by its shrewd mother? Was it unsatisfactory in some way, shoved aside to make room for healthier eggs and livelier offspring?
I thought about the mother Robin. How humdrum she is, how she looks like all her sisters. Bold yes, with a decent song and the honor of being the harbinger of Spring, but still a common bird. Not a bird you’d look up in a bird book after having seen.
And yet, within her, this luminous surprise. Her egg. And I thought how such surprises are in each of us, no matter how ordinary we seem.
You never know what thought, what feeling, what prayer or what epiphany might emerge from within you. Each of us with our hidden beauties and mysteries, each of us with the seed of something miraculous inside.
That day I imagined my thoughts as blue eggs and inspected each one tenderly. Some were broken, some were flawed and speckled, and some were dazzlingly bright and filled with the promise of understanding. I reminded myself that ordinary things can be extraordinary, if we just take the time to look.
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Ed: Sara Crolick