The American Robin is considered by many to be a harbinger of spring. When the robin returns to its summer home in the spring, it gets to work building a nest with its mate and laying a brood of beautiful, sky-blue eggs. It is also one of the first birds to sing at dawn, harkening the new day with its melodious voice.
The robin, in many respects, is a bird of beginnings, of birth, and of the rebirth of the true, creative self. Upon its proud chest, robin shamelessly displays the color orange. Although robins are considered to have a “red-breast,” the color is really a deep orange, the vibration of the second, or sacral chakra. Orange and the second chakra are symbolic of our creative and sexual drives. This wheel of energy stirs us into action, and when balanced and healthy, enables us to live our creative truths without worry of how we will be received by the world.
When I see robin, the bird always inspires a sense of awe and reverence. Standing erect and confident on the ground, where it digs through the body of Earth for sustenance, robin appears a master of the self. The robin has no doubt who s/he is, unafraid to sing in full-throated beauty the first song of the morning.
The robin births eggs in the spring in the color of the cloudless sky, making the robin a creator of truth and a teacher for a healthy throat chakra. The throat chakra is the fifth chakra in the set of seven primary chakras in the body. It is closely tied to the second chakra. When we are able to create freely from that seat of orange energy, we need to be able to bring it up through our throats, where we express our truths with compassion and confidence.
Near the end of last summer, on the first day of returning to school for my children, I experienced a day of magical peace and communion with nature. It had been a difficult summer for me, not because the kids were home, although that presents its own set of challenges and gifts, last summer was a time of transition for me. I was emerging into the field of energy healing, and was getting ready to finish up my memoir and start sending it out to the world. I was feeling called to release old fears and habits that were no longer serving me. Part of this releasing was letting go of relationships that were no longer in alignment with who I was, and my upper back, neck and shoulders were suffering the struggle to unburdan an old, heavy load.
That day at the end of August, after I sent my children off on the bus, I was able to decompress and live in the moment in a way I had not been able to for a long time. I spent the beautiful sun-filled day with my dogs walking in the woods and sitting outside. Many birds appeared to me, including a hummingbird, flicker, and robin. For a long time I watched these individual birds and took in the lessons they had to offer. Robin sat in a maple tree in my front yard, toward the middle of the afternoon shortly before the kids were due off the bus. I had my camera with me all day, and I captured the bird on the branch, then watched as it released a single feather, which swirled with gravity toward the earth beside where I sat. A gift, it seemed.
Spirit sometimes speaks to us with feathers, offering them to us as a gesture of hope and reassurance that we are a part of a great, universal love that is so vast and infinite we can hardly comprehend it in our human form. I am often reluctant to take feathers from the Earth when I see them, for there is also the belief that one should not take from Earth what one does not need, or belongs to someone else. Sometimes, though, the gifts are so overt one is pulled to accept them. That day, as I gently lifted the fallen feather, feeling the vibration of the robin’s energy still humming inside, I knew I had been given a precious gift. A gift of new birth and beginnings. It’s been quite a journey.