Winter Birds

My grandfather loved backyard birding. He had a gazillion bird feeders and water baths stationed all over his yard and garbage sized tins stocked full of different seed varieties. The binoculars rested dutifully on the windowsill in the kitchen.

Kelley Elizabeth Photography-DSC_8421I guess you could say that’s where I get it from.

When he passed away, weird as it might sound, one of the things I took home with me afterwards was a couple of his bird feeders.

Backyard birding from my cozy home’s windows reminds me of being a kid and my grandfather pointing out the different birds from their tiny little kitchen in Chicago.

Knowing my fondness for birds, several members of my family have also gifted me feeders and a couple years ago I had the bright idea to mount some of them on an L-shaped brace to the outside of the house next to the living room windows. Now I can sit from underneath a blanket and 2 dogs on the couch and watch the flocks go to town on bird seed as the snow drops heavily from the sky.

Right now as I type this post there are 6 different species of birds squabbling, flittering, and flocking on thistle and sunflower seeds. The chatter is almost on par with the volume on the TV as I watch old episodes of Lost.

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The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
― J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird

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The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

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They are not the bear, who once the weather turns bad retreats to his den and slumbers it away until the sun returns. They are not like the chipmunk who stores up caches of reserves. No, every day the winter birds must be on their grind. Even during the heavy snow storms they must be in pursuit of it; their daily meals, the flock, shelter, survival thrival. They must be in pursuit of living.

The lesson the winter bird teaches is not just to have faith to fly, but to persevere and keep steadfast when it gets hard. Thrive not survive. You’d never tell it was winter in their world. They give the same no matter what season it is.



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