’Tis amazing what lessons we can still learn and where we learn them. Our studio window is one of those places.
Feeding the birds on our corner of the world is something God can check off His list because we do it for Him. We even provide them with a protection under the pergola covered with creeping fig. And in return, those birds provide us with their musings, their music, and even their mess. Years ago, I chose the cardinal as my reminder of God’s presence in my life, so I delight when they show up in the acrylic feeder attached to the window.
Talk about a bird’s eye view! The goldfinches make my heart sing until the hummingbirds return; the titmice, taking one seed at a time and flying away to a nearby oak, amuse me; the chickadees remind me that even small ones get their turn at the feeder; the house wrens are a perfect picture of perky; the white-winged doves provide peaceful sounds at dusk; and the thick-necked, golden-fronted woodpeckers rule the roost. That is, until the European starlings show up.
Two starlings provided me with a most interesting scene a few days ago. A rather large starling claimed his space on the seedcake basket and was soon joined by a smaller, but feisty starling. Now there’s plenty of room on this basket for several birds. They can eat from the basket’s front, the back, the sides, and even perch on a landing to eat, but apparently the number one starling preferred dining alone. First, the squawking started, then the flapping, then feathers started flying, and in short order, they both flew away, the smaller one chasing the larger. Meanwhile as their mid-air fussing continued, two sparrows flew confidently and quietly in, perched on the basket and ate their fill.
I pondered that scene for a while, and remembered some truths. There was plenty of food for all of them. There was plenty of room for all of them. But, one’s selfishness and fussiness robbed both of them of a meal. Got me to thinking, of what am I robbing myself when I’m fussy and frustrated? Could it be that I’m missing something really incredible? Makes me sad to think I missed an experience designed just for me while I was off flittering around about nothing. The sparrows had something to say, too. They were patient and watchful; they shared; they didn’t mind when a warbler joined them; and they all went away satisfied.
Can’t wait to see what my feathered friends will do with the basket of yarn scraps and dryer lent I’ve been saving for their nesting seasons this spring!
Image: CC Flickr James West