Friday, June 4, 2010

Weeds and Birds

Almost every day during my summer vacations in high school I would get up to find the note on the table. It read, “Girls, pull weeds today.” We lived on the corner of a cul-de-sac and had a large rock garden on the side of the house. It was great for conserving water in this dry climate, but it was a pain in the derriere when it came to keeping it free from weeds. It took constant vigilance to stay ahead of the game. My sisters and I spent many a summer hour out there pulling weeds. I, for one, despised pulling weeds!

Over the years that Mom was sick the yard suffered from lack of loving care. It just was too much for Dad to keep up with. In the last few years Dad has been working to landscape the yard. Since I have some time on my hands these days I have been helping him by pulling weeds in the areas he wants to re-rock.

Today as I pulled weeds in the heat (the sun was hiding behind the clouds, but it was hot) I remembered those summer days when I would have rather been anywhere else besides there. I’m significantly older now and my body is complaining in ways it didn’t back in the day, but I am not terribly upset at that. The old bod needs to be put through the paces after years of sitting behind a desk. The thing that amazed me is that after all these years of pursuing a “normal” career I am thrilled to be doing something as simple as cleaning house and pulling weeds. It gives me lots of time to think.

I had time to think about how the yard is symbolic of my life right now. Over the years I have been lax and the weeds of discontent and unhappiness have taken over. I have been pursuing life in the wrong arenas and my fatigue has overwhelmed me. As I pulled the dastardly weeds I thought about how I was trying to pull up the enemies in my life. I have been letting go of emotions that serve no valid purpose. I have been focusing on habits that need to be changed. I am weeding and for now that is what needs to be done.

As I worked I took in my surroundings. The birds and squirrels have always been fed very well in my parent’s back yard and they are frequent visitors. Tuesday when I was over there, a little brown bird crawled under my truck and died there. I don’t know what the cause of death was, but I gave him a somewhat irreverent burial in the trashcan. Honestly, I am not a big fan of birds. They kind of freak me out. I watch them from afar.

Usually when I am around I see lots of pigeons and crows helping themselves. Today though I watched as a beautiful black/blue bird came up and had a mid-afternoon snack. He looked at me with a sunflower kernel in his beg and then with a nod of his head flew away. Shortly after two little brown birds who had red chests and little red hoods on came in to take a few minutes of rest. They were very pretty and I watched as they enjoyed themselves and then flew off. Before I was done the tiniest little yellow feathered friend swooped into the yard and alit on one of the feeders. She stayed for a few minutes and then went on her way.

There in the midst of the chaos of a yard in redirection I was immersed in beauty. I couldn’t help but think about the verse in Matthew that says, “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” Because if not even a sparrow can fall to the ground without the Father knowing it, surely I, a child of God, cannot go through the valley without Him knowing it and being there for me.

I had my point and shoot camera in my purse so I tried to get some pictures of the birds when the red hooded ones returned later. I couldn't get close enough to get really good pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reminding me I need to "weed"