This morning, as I sat down with my coffee to read a few blog posts, my attention was diverted once again by all the activity at my bird feeder. There were seven or eight little birds- sparrows, I think- fussing and cheeping at each other because there are only four perches for them to share, and they weren't being very patient about "waiting their turn"! My daughter calls this flock "the little fatties", and that's just what they are. The feeder hangs from one of those metal shepherd's crook things, and perched atop the crook was a male cardinal in his scarlet uniform. Now, he was waiting his turn, which meant he was getting exactly nothing for breakfast. Occasionally he would let out a frustrated little peep, "Hey, guys, isn't it my turn yet?" He was twice the size of a sparrow, but obviously of a more timid temperament.
Then I noticed that right under the feeder, which is supposed to be squirrel-proof, waited a gray squirrel, eagerly snatching up the seed that the sparrows were dropping. This little comedian has a big, messy nest in a notch of our tulip poplar, and he is completely at home with us and our cats. In fact, when he took a little break from stuffing himself, he perched on the window sill, put his little forepaws on the window glass just like a child would, and looked in at us. He was almost nose-to-nose with our observant cat, separated only by the the window. Neither seemed the least disturbed by the other.
After I got over laughing at all this natural nonsense, one of the first posts I read was Rose's, also on the topic of birds. She and I have a similar quandary, in that we would love to be able to capture the birds on camera, but haven't quite mastered that yet. Still, enjoying them, in, as I put it, their parallel universe, where they eat and fly, raise their families, and have disagreements with each other, is one of those simple pleasures I'm glad to have right there before me every day. Free entertainment! And, amazement at the variety and complexity of the Creation.
It made me think of a great quote I saw recently:
"Suddenly to be caught up in the wonder of God's love flooding the universe, made aware of the stupendous creativity which animates all life, of our participation in it, every color brighter, every meaning clearer, every shape more shapely, every note more musical, every word written and spoken more explicit. . . . The animals too, flying, prowling, burrowing, all their diverse cries and grunts and bellowings, and the majestic hilltops, the gaunt rocks giving their blessed shade, the rivers faithfully making their way to the sea, all irradiated with this same glory for the eyes of the reborn." (Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom, pages 54-55.)
I'm thankful I have the sight to take all of this incredible world in every day.
Then November 30 Day Thanksgiving Challenge