“Bird Landing on My Head”

Dr. Michelle Choi, Lost or Found, Bird on My Head

Maybe there are little miracles around us daily – if we choose to see. ⁠

During my interview with Rabbi Eli, we had been sitting outside in my backyard, when a bird almost landed on my head. It still makes me laugh thinking about it, as I initially tried to maintain my cool during the interview, but really thinking- “What the hellz was that?!” But it was really shocking, feeling the bird’s sudden flap of its wing on the top of my head, almost like a slap. All of us have sat outside, some of us have been pooped upon, but how many of us have had our heads as landing bases for our feathered friends? ⁠

During that moment, we had to take a break, because it was visible that we were both shocked. I didn’t see the bird coming. However, during our interview it is apparent that the sounds of the birds were everywhere that day – chirping and singing their song. Rabbi Eli had mentioned that the Torah reading of Shabbat Shirah had just passed and that it is custom to feed the birds just prior, because they offer praise to God for the miracle. The chirp of song is the beautiful talent of birds and we acknowledge this gift by giving them food. ⁠

After the day had ended, of course, I was back in my thinking place- my bathroom. Imagining the toilet here, could also be appropriate. And as I thought about what had happened, with the bird on my head, I started reading. Birds have a powerful symbolism, and they are an inspiration to us to aim higher and reach our goals despite the obstacles that we may face along the way. They are considered messengers from the spiritual realms and they symbolize peace, transformation and growth, and freedom. Although I heard the birds all around me that day, and it’s evident on the audio, I really ended up listening, when it came so unusually close, shockingly close. Since I need some encouragement in this new path that I am creating for myself, and have my own uncertainties, maybe it was a reminder for me to just keep on walking, from a spiritual friend. Anyway, that’s how I decided I would like to describe that unforgettable moment. Maybe a spiritual high – five? My forehead and the bird’s wing?⁠

Michelle Choi MD