For the Birds-For Me
On February 23, 1994, Congress proclaimed this month as National Bird Feeding Month. This is a difficult month for the winged ones and providing even a small ration of food, water, and shelter will help wild birds survive; and ourselves. Watching birds can provide an almost Zen like break to our fast paced lives. Nature has the intrinsic power to relieve stress and angst because we are one with it; if you just give it the chance.
After an hour of steady telephone calls, I am known to slip away quietly and hide for 15 minutes. Quiet and peaceful with no connection to the busy world; I sit at the back of the store and watch the graceful frolic and soiree outside. There is no time better than another; whenever I arrive there seems a performance starting just for me. I have an odd assortment of bowls, urns, dishes, and feeders around the yard overflowing with seed, corn, and bread. If you quiet yourself and watch; you get lost. They flit, they hop, they flutter and they prance. Such a simple act of Nature with such a profound effect. Before you know it your heart rate slows, you are leaning against the window, and you are one with Nature. You are quiet and simple. Nature is simple, the original meditation I think.
For many of us, this escape progresses to a hobby. It is an inexpensive hobby and one that is actually a good habit for us-and them. Unlike humans, they don’t require designer feeders or porcelain baths-they are happy with an old cookie sheet or garden urn. And they graciously thank us by coming back every day for another show; no matter the weather.
We are lost, because we sequester ourselves to an indoor lifestyle of multitasking, artificial light, and circulated air. We have lost our connection to the Earth and Nature; something we all desperately need to get back. A Native Ojibwa friend told me that the people of New York City have glass, empty eyes because they walk and live on concrete all day; every day. Their feet never touch the Earth and so, have lost their connection and… are lost themselves. He lives on the First Nation reservation on Manitou Island in Canada; I thought his words were amazingly insightful for one so removed from a mega city, and told him so. A simple observation and antidote so clear to him and I, and yet so lost to them.
Feed the birds, watch the squirrels; it is a gift from Nature.
Get reconnected….it will save us.
Learn our winged friends and their songs below