She was working so hard, hopping from branch to branch. Up, down, over, across. The flutter of her wings caught my eye from the sun room yesterday. It was my time to take several minutes of quiet. I was attempting to quiet my racing mind as the to-do list, my own mental “wish I could do” list, finally turned into “God, what do you have for me to do?”
There she was, the busy cat-bird, choosing just the right branch to build her nest. Watching a bird build her nest from start to finish has always been something I would love to experience. I only had a few minutes, but what a blessing to catch the beginning! I laughed out loud as I thought through the magnitude of her day’s task. She landed on the chosen branch with what looked like yarn in her beak. Oh, how I wished I could reach out and help her secure it to that branch. How is she doing that with only a beak?! Oh – she dropped it. My little bird friend didn’t appear to be the least frustrated when she hopped down to pick it up and start over again. . . three times. Was she wishing for a second beak, maybe a wing with grabbers, as she began to weave the yarn around the branches and – oh, my goodness, she is weaving it through itself, too!
I thought of the many times I’ve said, “If only I had another hand” instead of “God, thank you for the two hands you have given me”. I’m not sure if birds are capable of complaint, or even know the feeling of dissatisfaction. What I can tell you is that this cat-bird was determined. A nest was going to happen and it would be on THAT chosen branch.
Right next to the lilac tree is a bird house. This bird house was in place when we acquired this home 4 years ago and has had a family in it every spring. Today the babies are so insistent on feeding two of them are hanging partially out of the hole and screeching. Momma sparrow is patiently gathering food, returning to the nest over and over again. I see no impatient, ruffled feathers. She is not scolding them, but dutifully going back and forth, back and forth until their needs are met. A beautiful mom!
A search around www.allaboutbirds.org verified that it was not only our baby birds making so much noise in the backyard. Turns out our overachieving cat-bird is a perfect mimic. These two lovelies have been imitating the screeches of the tiny baby birds, only from their large breasted big bird bodies!! No wonder the cacophony was nearly deafening 😉
I had a little more motivation to get up early enough this morning to check on their progress. I didn’t find a complete nest, but my new feathered friend was still here. I didn’t disturb her to see if she was still building in that same crook of the lilac bush. She was singing her heart out today. The babies were still in the bird house and the neighbor cats were not in sight. I pray I am not home on their day of flight training. . . not sure my heart can watch if the kitties smell that out!
I am tired. It’s ‘a good tired, a fatigue from good, hard work. Could I possibly be as tired as a tiny creature hopping about as the cat-bird was? Maybe. However, I did not have the lilt in my step that she had this morning! When I need home furnishings I do not have to build them with a single beak. Am I grateful enough for that? What level of energy does it take to fly, to gather enough food for a nest full of hungry mouths, all almost as big as you now? I found myself empathizing with these two little bird moms 🙂
Thank you, God, for blessing me with just enough quiet time to appreciate the intricacies and wonders of your world. Thank you for challenging me to find gratitude in all things. Most of all today, thank you for showing me the benefit of living right in the moment and living the moment in its fullness to your glory.