I consider chickadees to be the friendliest of birds, and here's why: they are almost fearless. They arrive at the bird feeder while i am putting the sunflower seeds in it. Yesterday, one chickadee made a touch-and-go landing on my outstretched hand full of sunflower seeds. You really have to mindful to feel the glorious happiness of a small puff of feathers clutching your finger for less than a moment.
Compared to other birds, the chickadee is foremost in friendliness. The tufted titmice are skittish. The goldfinches, still in their winter olive drab, travel in flocks and scatter at the mere breath of wind. The cardinals zoom off if you so much as move your eyes.
Metta is often translated as loving-kindness, but it stems from the word maitri, the Sanskrit word for "friend." It is just as accurate to translate metta as friendliness or loving-friendliness. One aspect of friendliness is freedom from fear. In other words, fearlessness.
As tiny little fears poke their way into my mind--anxiety, worry, uncertainty, unease, dread, jitters, or what have you--can i respond like a chickadee? Can i fly right into the heart of the unknown?