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  • Writer's pictureAshley Thomas

I wouldn't carry a bird box.

Those close to me know I don’t like birds. It’s not that I don’t like birds, I’m quite simply terrified of them. Not necessarily the annoying ones you hear chirping in the morning - as the wake up call you didn’t ask for - but more so the “vulture” like ones that sweep in and want to steal your food. I don’t like sharing my food, let alone with an unwelcomed bird. So yes, you get the picture. I don't like birds.

Yet, this photo is hanging in my office.

Not as a reminder of my distaste but a reminder of life that carries on after death.

In this last season, death has been an unwelcomed visitor.

It quickly came and quickly disrupted a lot. I haven’t realized just how much until recently.

I’ve told myself to get over it. I’ve questioned why this time has been so hard. I’ve suggested that I learn how to not care so much. There hasn’t been a real good solution yet, other than to just feel. And quite frankly I’m SO over feelings.

My friend, Cassandra drew that bird. She is one of now a handful of friends I have lost in my time at Hope Street. I look at that drawing everyday and I remember - life is short. That it’s important to tell the people you love, that you love them, today. Cherish all moments, even the mundane ones because some day those moments will be disrupted. Hold loosely to grudges, name things your thankful for and be SO present that it scares you.

I don’t say all of this in hopes that people will walk on egg shells, worried about when death will strike - but more so the exact opposite. Live life to the full, today, while you have been given the gift of the present.

My word for 2019 was to be more present. With my people, with my time and simply with myself. Probably could keep trying to be better at all of that.

I don’t like birds.

I would be OK if they died.

If you have seen Bird Box on Netflix (do not recommend it) I would be the one to die, because I would refuse to carry a box of birds around.

But in the meantime, I’ll cherish the hand drawn one that reminds me to enJOY life to the full, today.

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