A moment spent with a bird is a glimpse of eternity. You might say I am waxing poetic but I can’t help it. Birds are intertwined with my existence–ever since I can remember.

I love watching the stars at night and that same love is equalled by my sheer bliss from listening to the chirping of birds. I even talk to them when they visit outside my window. Once, my husband commented that he thinks the birds understand me (because they do sound like they are answering me back!). On some days that when they don’t come by and I need to be inspired, I just go to YouTube to experience their presence. And often, I notice better focus and higher creativity (try it!).

Birds represent lofty goals, the spirit of courage, and our longing for adventures. The pursuit of the impossible, even. Just imagine–airplanes (and the ease of long-distance flying) would not be there without the birds. Head on to this interesting read if you wish to know more about the history of flight. (The link leads to a NASA site.)

In both the material and spiritual levels, birds matter so much in our lives, yet, we seldom find the moment to really think about the values and solace that they give us. In the ecosystem, we know that birds are ‘multi-taskers,’ acting as both nurturer and predators, pollinators and scavengers, seed dispersers and eaters. In certain locations, seabirds and their guano deposits provide nutrients to plants, allowing them to grow taller and faster. They were also observed  to be significantly more productive compared with areas not frequented by birds (adapted from Anderson, W.B. and G.A. Polis, 1999). We are invited to think about this in the context of the whole ecosystem and Mother Gaia herself–each one is part of the whole chain–and conservation is definitely not a one-off project or a mere box that we need to tick off. We need to embark on it in a more profound and holistic manner, appreciating that it’s integrated with and at the ‘bedrock’ of a more sustainable, inclusive, and greener future.

As we seed Anna’s Trees and Innovations, we are inspired by the flight of birds. At this point, I have two special experiences that beg sharing. (Please indulge me.) Back in July, I came across a potential opportunity for an individual consultant. Serendipitously, it is very much within my long-term goal/vision (bonus: it ‘evolved’ from a key flyway and its migratory birds) and as someone who knows me can imagine, I was instantly pulled. It’s really a dream job and I still cannot forget the day of my interview because…ta dah…birds dropped by my window that very same morning, with songs more melodious and excited, as if telling me that a new chapter is about to begin. Magical, isn’t it?

My husband and I were happily flabbergasted that morning, grinning and shaking our heads in the what-the-heck manner, when we talked about it over breakfast (we were still both half-awake, half-asleep when the birds dropped by). We were both surprised in a way because the birds haven’t really been visiting for weeks already. In fact, we still didn’t know yet the full meaning of that visit until today, when we received the good news that I passed the selection process and offered a consulting contract. If you know me, I take my job seriously but this one is really more than a job. It’s a playground+passion project+creative space+soul journey rolled into one.

If you’re building a startup/ project or career or even aspiring to write your own book, this might inspire you too about holding your vision close to your heart, believing in it, and simply trust that you will land in that exact spot where you will eventually flourish. The Universe definitely hears you and just like the birds, you are guided by the winds!

I also could not forget my first encounter with a Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) [endemic]. It was back in 2004 and an important milestone in conservation efforts because it was the first release of a captive-reared bird. Named Kabayan (in English, “compatriot”), he looked so proud, tall, and magnificent—even the word beautiful seems not enough to describe him and the experience of being close to him.

When he spread his wings and began his first flight toward the wild, everyone was silent and in awe, as if in complete meditation. Sadly, though, Kabayan didn’t live very long. He was found lifeless after 9 months, perceived to have been electrocuted (Philippine Eagle Foundation, 2005).

He may have left already but that day in 2004 is one of those moments that stay with you forever, almost transcendental. In that suspended moment, we were all under a spell, touched by an unseen force, surrendering to the hope and courage of this beautiful creature–and inwardly, coming home to absolute bliss and gratitude. In that moment, we all remember, life is indeed beautiful.

There is just too much to learn and imbibe from birds! They are serious yet playful. They are fierce yet loving. They could linger yet see the world as their playground and the next thing you know, they’re off to their next adventures.

Businesses could learn so much from them, too. I hope you can take a moment today to think about how your business and processes could draw inspirations from our feathered friends (and how we could give back to them). Think visioning. Adventures. Creativity. Playfulness. Determination. Courage. Ahhh, those are just icing on the cake. Once we go deeper, we also go higher.

For the birds are ethereal reminders of our infinite power; just as birds continue to fly, we discern our search for meaning as an ever-evolving journey toward new horizons, both known and unknown.

Come here, our feathered friends, you are welcome to stay a little bit longer.

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Anna’s Trees & Innovations OPC, once fully operational and commercially stable, is devoting a portion of its earnings toward forest and wetlands protection and conservation, climate resilience, and transformative education. We’re open for potential collaboration so if this makes you fly (pardon the pun), just reach out!

Happy World Migratory Bird Day, fellow change makers! [Hats off and much love to Cheng Li, Birdland International, and Eric Tan for the images of endangered migratory birds, and Nadiia Ploshchenko at Unsplash for the header image.]