The Unorthodox Box

Bird in BoxThe bird in this photo is a welcome morning inspiration. And I don’t even like birds. It seems she’s made a nest in the flower box on the second floor patio. She has hardly moved since landing here–only to escape some pelting rain.  Unconcerned with the spiderweb being built in close proximity or the cars that come and go and park and leave all day beneath her, she has found her place in the sun, in the midst of concrete, to birth something new. Her circumstances aren’t defining her journey, and she’s not afraid to be somewhere or someone she isn’t “supposed” to be. She only knows that she had to find a place to lay her dream, to fulfill her purpose, and to continue her life.

Aren’t birds supposed to make their nests in trees or at least on someone’s front porch lamp? These are the places we expect to see them, and, perhaps, don’t notice them because of their natural presence in that environment. But fulfill your purpose in a tiny window box, with your own little view of beauty, and you will see things you never dreamed. You will also be seen by a whole new group of people, who stumble on your own unexpectedly shining beauty.

History is filled with unorthodox boxes. Moses, the deliverer of a nation, was supposed to be killed along with an entire generation of Israelites, but his mother sent him downstream in a basket.  Abraham Lincoln would begin political discussions and readings with humorous stories and jokes to lighten the unimaginable seriousness of the Civil War era.  Maya Angelou, writer of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” reportedly wrote from sparsely decorated and small hotel rooms rented months at a time. Even Jesus was born in unorthodox conditions, having been laid in an animal’s food trough.

How many times have we settled for a daily life in the ordinary? How many times have we not considered taking a risk because it looks unusual or is not a part of what culture deems “expected”? Sometimes, fulfilling your purpose means looking outside the patterns of those around us, the definitions of previous generations, and finding life in the middle of a concrete-heavy world. Sometimes, the unexpected, unsuspecting patios are the places that need the beauty you have to bring.

Don’t be afraid of doing what hasn’t been done. Don’t be afraid of being the only one.
Fulfill your purpose whatever the cost.
Cheers to finding your unorthodox box.


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