A few days ago, I stopped at a local sporting goods store because we were already in need of new gloves for the season. It seems even without the amount of snow and cold we normally have, a mitten had mysteriously gone missing.
I pulled into the lot and waited in the car for just a bit because, after dropping off my children at school, I had arrived a few minutes before the store was scheduled to open. As I sat and patiently listened to the radio, I noticed a turkey just outside the entrance of the store, and it was acting in a peculiar fashion.
He (I assumed it was a tom but honestly don’t know that much about turkeys) was walking— no, actually strutting –back and forth in front of the glass entrance doors. Every once in awhile he would fan his tail feathers out to advertise fantastic plumage and then jump at the door, with an extra hop and skip thrown in for good measure.
I thought he was a crazy bird—why on earth would he spend his time in front of a store? Weren’t there many other important turkey things he could be doing?
The time of the store opening approached, so I did too. As I walked up to the front doors, I could see both his and my reflection in the glass door that now slid open as I got closer. I wondered for a minute if he was going to be chased indoors with my presence. He graciously moved out of the way, having no interest in the hunting and fishing equipment just inside. It dawned on me that, when he saw himself in the reflection I had spied from my new perspective just before I entered, he thought his likeness was that of another male bird. Being the tom he was, he was ready to fight this perceived competition.
I found the gloves I needed, wishing that instead of just being waterproof they could be drop-proof. At the register while I paid, I mentioned the turkey to the store clerk, saying it surprised me he did not get chased in as the door opened for me. She assured me that never happened and went on to say that he is out there about the same time every morning.
Driving away, I wondered about my reflection and myself. How often do I see myself reflected in other people around me, and how often am I ready to fight that reflection? I may not be fighting in a physical way, but definitely in a mental or emotional sense. How often, day after day, do I have the same disagreements with others about issues that I’ve projected onto them—the reflection of my own inner struggles played out with them, and they with me?
Yoga is a practice. Energy work is a practice. I can only hope that I continue practicing a new angle, a new perspective from which to see my relationships because I’m not so sure the other person(s) needs to be involved. I might just be jumping and ruffling up my tail feathers at my own reflection—at myself.