Reiki and The Woodpecker

By Steven Falcone

It was a cold December morning, and because our Reiki class had just two students that week, we decided to hold the class at our home in Whitmore Lake. After exchanging introductions with each other, and armed with mugs of steaming tea, we all settled down in the front room to begin the day of training. Suddenly a loud thud banged against the office window, and my wife Kim and I went to investigate.

Outside, a young woodpecker, its small head bent at an impossible angle, lay motionless on the deck. "It must have bounced at least 10 feet off the window" I said as I rushed outside.

Woodpeckers are a common sight for us during this time of the year, but neither Kim nor I had ever seen one so young. Barely the size of a finch, its small body was no match for the large window. I approached it cautiously, not wanting it to panic and injure itself more. Upon closer observation I noticed that its eyes were closed and its body was limp. It was either unconscious or dead.

I gently scooped the lifeless bird into my hands carefully cradling its neck. Its head was bent so severely forward, I feared its neck was broken.

"Is it alive?" Kim asked through the window. "I think so" I said, but I wasn't sure. It was so motionless and cold.

Our students looked on as I gently moved its neck from side to side trying to coax some movement, some sign of life out of the little bird. I said a silent prayer of intent and Reiki began to flow through my hands and into it. I sensed that it was still alive.

Almost instantly it moved ever so slightly and I could feel its cold feet trying to grip me inside my cupped hands. The Reiki intensified and I felt the familiar pulsation and rush of heat between my hands and the bird. Slowly its dull eyes opened. With each passing moment they seemed to become clearer and the bird became more alert.

Quite content to sit in my hands the little bird looked at me, cocking its head from side to side as it continued to absorb the Reiki.

After a while the pulsations began to subside. I tried to coax the bird to perch on the back of our porch swing, but it held on to me firmly. It was so calm and relaxed. I continued to hold the bird gently. Finally, it released its hold and perched on the back of the swing.

I had neglected to wear a coat or shoes in the rush of activity, and by now I was cold and ready to go indoors. Back inside and warm, we settled down to begin the class.

A half hour later the little bird was still perched on the swing. As I went outside to check on it, it cocked its head, gave me a knowing look and flew off into the trees.

Our students commented that although they were sorry for the bird, they appreciated the hands on demonstration. For Kim and I this was yet another reminder that all things are connected, and that Reiki is sometimes the thread that weaves us all together.

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Copyright 1997

Steven Falcone

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