Today’s Peacock is Tomorrow’s Feather Duster*

 Someone once told me: 
 As soon as you recognize your own humility,
 you’re no longer humble.
 A baffling statement in that moment,
 I have turned it 
 over and over 
 in my mind and heart 
 ever since.
 The wisdom of it escaped me
 until recently while reading a favorite spiritual author,
 whose father often reminded him:
 …today’s peacock is tomorrow’s feather duster.
 Those words produced in me
 an image of myself as a peacock,
 adoring the beauty of my own feathers
 while losing sight of my vast worldly surroundings – 
 rivers flowing beside me,
 insects flitting about,
 fruit trees so majestic and mighty 
 they conceal the threat of the hunter.
 A crackle of dead leaves on the forest floor
 steals my trance away 
 from the colors of my self  
 that have stunned my own awareness 
 and the last thing I see,
 before becoming a feather duster,
 is the barrel of the hunter’s gun
 aimed steadily on me.
 My eyes blink back to the words I was reading
 and the wisdom of it all 
 flows through and over and all around me.
 I smile through tears 
 as the Word now becomes my flesh:
 “…do not let your left hand know
 what your right hand is doing…” 
 and it all makes sense. 
 *With gratitude for:
  - All those who have gone before me, for sharing generously the wisdom that so often baffled me at first.
 - Parker Palmer, for writing On the Brink of Everything 
 - The Gospel of Matthew, for recording the words of Jesus in Chapter 6, Verse 3  

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