I’m grateful for birdseed today. I’ve found that spending the early morning outside, first thing as the sunlight streams along the path, listening to the birds sing and the world wakes up, helps me center and feel calm. It’s beome a favorite ritual to help me in these days of stress.
I’ve got three feeders in the view from my back patio, each full of birdseed – well, four if you count the hummingbird feeder, sparkly red and inviting. Right now, though, the bold White-crowned sparrows feast every morning. They flit in and out, up and down, trilling their welcoming call. The chunky Mourning doves come by every so often, eating what’s leftover on the ground. Sometimes alone, their plaintive call for their mate echoes in the morning hush.
All they need
I’m guessing the birds don’t really realize what’s happening either, how obsessed I’ve become with keeping them fed. Or maybe they’re just confident that they have all they need right here at my feeder.
I’m grateful for iris bulbs today, planted over the last few decades I’ve lived here. For the last 28 days, I’ve been watching them every morning, watching the birds dig around at their strong base looking for discarded seeds. The purple iris always appears first, followed by pink. I’ve noticed their dagger-like leaves sprout strong stalks, morphing from the base like diamond-shaped arrows to the sky. They always amaze me, these iris, how the powerful bud pushes forward, wanting so much to bloom.
Today, I’m grateful for space right outside my door, the red used bricks beneath my feet and the honey locust trees above barely budding, the sky open vast and royal blue. I’m grateful for the jasmine vines tangling in treetops to my left – so grateful that I never got around to pruning them. The grass is growing high and green waiting expectantly for attention. Grapefruits and oranges drop abundantly from the trees along the fence line, opening up space for next year’s fruit. The Calla lilies don’t seem to mind quarantine either; they know it’s time to bloom, no matter what’s happening in the world.
These days start with gratitude
These days start with gratitude, with reminders that this, too, shall pass. I’m finding the time moves just as before, but now there’s no reason to rush. I’ve no control over the unfolding of time anymore now than before – and when the time is right, this unbelievable journey will unfold and life, maybe not as before, will resume.
The sparrows are done feeding now, moving to their game of tag between the shelter of the buddleia and pittosporum. They’re small enough, these slight little creatures, to take shelter quickly, their tweets taunting their hidden friends. The menacing blue jay squawks and pops in, grabbing a sunflower seed and tapping it open on a branch above my head. He wipes his beak side to side, determined. Simultaneously, one half of the pair of doves waits on the wire overhead, snatching bits of sunlight.
It’s time for the last sip, closing my morning pages and getting on with the day. I’m grateful for these small moments of ordinariness – the silver linings of sheltering at home. For the birdsong, the beautiful, distant symphony of sound, each sharing their gratitude for simply being alive.
The hug of the Universe
I’m feeling the hug of the Universe, wrapping me in safety and beauty in this extraordinary time. I know I’m being taken care of, being reminded to slow down and turn inward. When everything in the world seems to have gone sideways, I find serenity in the extraordinariness around me – and the joy of giving thanks and feeling peace.
And the gratitude for the birdseed that draws it all into focus.