There are things that I love -- family, Jesus, nature, flowers, and as you already know, birds.
I'm a birder. As a young child my grandmother introduced me to the wonder and delight of birds. I started young as a seer and lover of the little feathered creatures. As an adult, I don't very often "go birding." Rather, I feed and attract to my home and watch from my chair or my kitchen window. I bird while I drive and try to name that creature on the electrical pole as I speed past.
There are big-deal, serious birders in Colorado who are constantly monitoring the skies, waters and trees of the state. In fact, Colorado has a bird alert website that tells you when something special is sighted. Like a flash flood warning or thunderstorm alert, these notices come to those who care to know.
Rarely do I let myself chase a bird. To leave family and responsibility to chase down a bird feels selfish, silly, a waste of time. Self talk is powerful, to be sure. "More important things" are left undone if I drop the urgent, grab my binoculars and bird ID book, a hat, a bottle of water and head for the bird.
A friend who lives on the East coast gets the bird alerts for Colorado. When she texted me that there had been nearby sightings of hummingbirds not often seen in Colorado, this morning I let myself throw responsibility and to-do list to the wind and went to see the hummers!
Feeling a little guilty now; I had some important work to do this morning that didn't get done. But guilt aside, this was important self-care for me today. Unscheduled and spontaneous, I let myself say yes to something that gives me great joy. I'm glad I did.
I didn't see the rare-for-Colorado Calliope Hummingbird afterall. But the morning was well spent, my heart is full, and I am thankful. Soul-care and self-care.
What do you love that you don't let yourself engage? Consider giving yourself permission to say yes to what nourishes you. You'll be glad you did.
I can lose myself
in the woods.
The smells, the sights, the sounds.
The smell of the forest is something I'd like to bottle and enjoy in dry Colorado!
The details of the forest overwhelm me and delight me. It's hard to take it all in --
I'm obsessed with trying to "name that tune."
This is a Red-Eyed Vireo on a nest just
outside my window.
It's song is a lovely constant in the
I can lose myself in the woods.
On a walk in early June, a tiny warbler caught my eye and my ear. Black, yellow, and white with a Grammy award-winning song, the Black-Throated Green Warbler made a diehard fan of me. I first saw the brightly colored male. He posed on a branch and took my breath away.** The female was nearby and soon flitted into view. She had grass in her beak and when she stopped in a crook of a birch tree, I realized she was making a nest. A magical moment!
In the next few weeks I returned to the spot often. I saw the nest form into a perfect cup, a receptacle for the female to lay her eggs. I saw her sit..., and sit..., and sit. Unmoving, patient, keeping the nest warm and protected with her own body and soft, lovely feathers.
One day she was absent from the nest. I saw her return with something in her beak. A chick had hatched and a tiny pink beak opened wide to receive a tasty morsel from the mother.
A few days later I watched both parents hunt and return to the nest to nourish their growing chick. Then . . .
Last night we experienced yet another violent thunderstorm and a deluge of rain. Over an inch fell in just a few minutes. Would the little warbler family survive? I wondered.
My question was answered today as I studied the place of the nest. It had been destroyed by the storm.
Nest remnants hung sadly from the branch.
My heart stopped as my mind raced through possible scenarios. Neither parent was to be seen or heard. Ravaged as the nest was, the one chick that had been held safely in the cup of the tiny nest and who had so eagerly accepted food from its parent, was not there.
I ventured into the woods to look under the tree,
hoping to find a chick to rescue or a chick to grieve. But, none was to be found.
A tiny Black-Throated Green Warbler was lost in the woods last night.
What do I make of this twist of the story?
I can lose, and find, myself in the woods.
**Adult male photo from https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=black+throated+green+warbler
All other photos ©2017 Nancy Buschart