The Parable of the Lost Friendship
A very close friend asked me how I was and what had happened. Maybe I can sum up my experience in this parable.
There once was a bird who would like to build his nest up a towering tree. It was migratory season and the bird needed to build a nest to rest his aching wings. He had traveled a far distance looking for a home. He looked everywhere for some sturdy tree but could find none except one tall and lush bamboo.
“Can I build my nest atop your verdant hair?”, he asked.
“With my pleasure, little bird,” the swaying bamboo replied.
They both enjoyed each other’s company as the wind and breeze played with them, the bird snug in his nest and the bamboo proud to have such a crown in his head, swayed and laughed. The bird has found his home.
Then night came. Both friends did not know that a storm was coming bringing with it thunder, lightning, and rain. It ravaged the land with its howling gales and throughout the darkness both friends were roughly swayed.
When morning came, the sun woke up to find both friends tattered on the ground. The bird awoke at the gentle touch of the sun and saw how the storm has blown the nest, it fell to the ground. Beside him was his friend, the bamboo, bent and crooked, sprawled flat on the earth.
“My friend, it is not good that we stay like this. Try to stand up and I will rebuild my nest in you. The sun is out and the breeze is dancing once more. We cannot miss such an occasion with a passing of night’s storm,” urged the bird.
“Sorry, little bird, I cannot at this moment stand up erect. I’m bent and crooked I have to find strength again,” the bamboo could have said to the bird but he was too tired to say it. He simply said, “just wait there, I’ll soon be standing again.”
“Oh, sweet bamboo, I have no nest to find home in unless it is in you.” So the bird waited.
Hours passed by but the bamboo would not stand up again. This had the bird worried and he was feeling the heat of the oncoming noon.
“Can you, oh please, stand up for me. Am I not your friend that you should let me dry up in the sun?” insisted the bird.
“Can you not wait? I already told you I cannot yet stand,” reminded the bamboo.
The bird was rather hurt by such a blunt reply. So he took shade in a little shrub nearby.
Hours came more and the sun was fierce in his might. In the thin foliage of the shrub the little bird saw a flock of birds glide down to the bent bamboo.
“Can we perch here as we wait for the noon to pass?” they asked.
“Sure, sure, my friends,” the bamboo replied. The little bird felt pain prick his little heart, he could not understand why.
The bamboo and his new flock danced and laughed, and he grew out several more shoots to accommodate them. He danced and played with them in the breeze, and they were happy indeed.
When the sun had left his mighty throne in the middle of the sky, the flock of birds proceeded to fly. The little bird then from the shrub where he hid, approached his bamboo friend and said, “can I now rebuild my nest in you?”
“You sure are a persistent bird. I asked for time for me to find my strength again that I may stand, but you wouldn’t give it to me. You waited for hours and pecked on me. Clearly, you do not understand my situation here. Clearly, there are birds who cannot understand you even if you have sheltered them in your branches,” the bamboo said.
“I’m sorry if I was not able to understand you. I was too afraid of the noon sun and I have nowhere else to build my nest,” the little bird explained.
But the bamboo was proud, and still would not admit the bird to his verdant hair. The bird, he reasoned in his mind, must learn his lesson, he is after all the king of bamboos. He turned his back to the bird and remained in his pride.
The bird, after a few minutes wait, could not contain his tears. They fell like rain on the field.
“Bamboo, my friend, if only you know how much I desire to build my nest in you and to dance with you once more. But you won’t bend for me standing stiff in your pride. I only wished that we dance as friends again the in the breeze. Perhaps I’m not a bird you value as a friend. I’m sorry for having hurt you, none of it was intended.Then, will I fly away and continue my journey. So long.”
So in the pink rays of the setting sun, the bird flapped his wings and flew away, disappearing in the last drops of light.
And so my friends, this is my little story. Perhaps the bird was just too idealistic and was living in a dream of bliss. Perhaps he was too attached to the bamboo, but I hope the little bird will find other bamboos and trees in which he can build his nest again.