Sometimes, the internet is amazing. Like, when you stumble across a story that’s not new, just new to you, and you realize that a great story really can live on to inspire people for years to come.
This little guy almost met his maker 6 years ago. If you don’t already know about him, do read on. And if you knew about him, enjoy the photos!
It started like any other day…
One beautiful summer morning, a family in South Central California heard a loud thump that seemed to come from their front door.
They ran to the door, opened it cautiously and peered out, only to discover a tiny owl laying on their front porch. He’d flown right into the wall of their house, leaving him dazed and confused.
The tiny owl stood up, then, but didn’t even try to fly. It seemed weak and unsteady. Then, it looked up at them and instead of the bright yellow eyes they expected, it seemed to have the whole galaxy in it’s eyes.
They scooped up the little owl in a blanket and rushed it to the local vet.
A veterinary ophthalmologist examined him thoroughly and found that the little fellow was emaciated and blind. He only had about 10% vision.
His starry eyes, the vet said, are the result of clots of protein and blood pigment, but he also has cataracts. His condition was probably the result of an attack by a predator, but it also might have been a flying accident.
They nursed the little fellow back to health, but deemed him “unreleasable” because of his vision. He was blind, and would not survive in the wild.
Zeus is a western screech owl. Screech owls are really tiny. At most, they weigh 6–8 ounces and they’re only 7–10 inches long. He could sit right in your palm and his entire wing span is less than 2 feet wide.
Today, Zeus has his own Instagram page, with almost 40 thousand followers. They call him an ambassador for his species and the founder of the Wildlife Center, Paul Hahn, says his eyes bring people almost to tears.
“When he wakes and opens his eyes, people gasp. We have had people almost in tears when he reveals his peepers.”
It strikes me how much we’re like that tiny owl with stars in his eyes.
So often, our differences are what makes us beautiful.
We don’t see that, of course. Not at first.
Instead, we walk around trying to hide that which makes us most vulnerable. Until one day, we can’t. Until one day it’s too painful to hide our differences, and we crash into a wall, and fall into a heap on the ground.
And then, broken open and vulnerable, that’s when we begin to shine.
The wound is where the light enters you — Rumi