What percentage of you is pigeon?
It’s got to be in there. After all, even after you know what makes you you, and how that can change, and how that change happens, even after you have tamed your most basic dragon instincts – we are pretty much all still part pigeon.
By pigeon, I specifically mean the Pigeon,. Mo Willems’ character that stars in children’s favorites “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus,” “The Pigeon Wants a Puppy,” “The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!” and “The Pigeon Needs a Bath!”.
They are part of that delightful genre of kids’ books that appeals to adults as well: they’re funny (really funny!) but also they are relatable to anyone. The Pigeon has a LOT of feelings and has no trouble in dishing them out. What he wants and doesn’t want is made very clear. And that can change quickly. But as much as he gets crazy angry when he doesn’t get his way, he is equally delighted at a good turn of events.
Anyone with kids recognizes this adorable, irritating childish behavior in a heartbeat, but as much as we never quite quiet our inner dragons, adults’ inner pigeons are alive and well too.
I always wear my heart on my sleeve, so maybe I’m a higher percentage pigeon that most. But we all want puppies and cookies and the freedom to drive buses. We all don’t want our responsibilities when we don’t feel like them. Sometimes we can keep all this under wraps, but sometimes even in the best of us this erupts – as passive aggressive comments, as slight snubs, as a full blown tantrum.
The effort to control our child feelings never ends. This can be true physically as well. As much as we like to feel like we have our bodies in control and our fluids contained, stuff spills out. We get hurt and bleed. We have a baby and laugh too hard. I won’t go further, but you get the idea. Our physical selves as well as our emotional selves are never really properly and completely contained.
You can envision all of this while you are in Pigeon pose. While sitting up, you put one leg behind you and bend the other so that it runs perpendicular to your stomach. It’s pretty simple, but a powerful hip opener. With your own leg holding you back, Pigeon Pose also is a symbol of your personal restraint: the ongoing attempt to control your body, your mind, your feelings, your words.
The great thing is you can always get out and let that Pigeon loose. After all, he is a lot of fun. But when the Pigeon gets out of line, like he always will, get back into the pose and take him out of the bus.