One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

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The garden hums with birdsong

I’m sitting here waiting for the next client to arrive as I write this. The view from my window is amazing – I am blessed. I love being able to look out into the garden to see and hear nature; especially the birds that visit my bird tables (and from my window, I can’t see the weeds!).

I used to think that I wasn’t doing it right…people would ask me ” What birds are they?” and I wouldn’t know the answer…no matter how many times I took out the book to check. I’d feel slightly embarrassed – after all I had several bird tables around the garden. Surely it could be be that difficult…but it was. Apart from the robin and the blackbird, my mind went blank when I was asked. So in the beginning, I’d spend time checking the bird book. I’d leave it by the window so I could look it up when I saw a bird that wasn’t a blackbird or a robin. It was awful. Boring. And it made no difference…I’d close the book and instantly forget!

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Image of bird book I used to have

Fortunately, after a year or two of ‘bird-watching’ in my garden; I realised that I didn’t care what type of birds they were! I just cared that they were there. So I gave the book away to someone who DID care about their names – I think he still uses it.

The pleasure for me is that these birds visit my garden and that when I’m rushing past a window ‘gettting things done’, I notice the birdfeeder and stop to smile. For a few moments (and sometimes for much longer), I notice their beauty, their colouring, their antics, their personality (yes, you would not believe the personalities). I love the robin that learned to hang out of the birdfeeder for just long enough to get the prize. And how when he’s ‘tired’ (I’m making this bit up), he simply stands nearby waiting for the messy eaters to drop pieces of nuts that he can easily pick off the ground.

I love the way other birds (not sure what they’re called) are fiercely aggressive and spend more time fighting off other birds than eating. I love that the blackbirds toss and throw the fallen leaves back out onto the path (that had been swept and tidied the previous day) to find the grubs or whatever it was they are eating.

I realise that just like people, I’m not too bothered about what they ‘are’ in the world; I may not even remember their names BUT I am fascinated by what they do on their journey through life; their behaviours; how they live their lives; how they connect and interact with others and how by modifying one little thing; the entire system can change.

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Magpie (and squirrel) proof (sort of) birdfeeders

I also realise that sometimes there are birds at the bird feeder (people in life) that make things a little difficult for others. This afternoon, a family of magpies (I know their name from childhood – remember the rhyme?) arrived at one of my bird tables. The adult birds are teaching the younger ones how to raid the bird feeders! Lots of different tactics have been tried: dive bombing into them to see if any nuts spill out, trying to get the lid off and pecking at the wire (which involves balancing on the tray underneath and stretching out to reach. They are having limited success ( I’ve been raided before and have counter measures in place!) but it’s not stopping them. And whenever Max (my Tibetan terrier) chases them away, they smaller birds return and get on with the job making my garden (and my world) a better place.

Note to Self: Put your attention on what you love. Notice the behaviours that work for you. Ignore the people that make life difficult. Modify one thing…it can change the whole system.

One thought on “One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

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