When my sister and I are in the car driving around, we always consider it an adventure. We have on occasion taken an unknown road just to see where it leads. The fun comes in finding our way home without having to resort to a smartphone application to tell us the way (which I guess in some ways is cheating if we’re trying to enjoy the adventure of getting from there to here). And then there are the times when the adventure is in our own backyard.
During my Bible study today at the First Church of Panera, I found an old hymn that I had never heard. I'll put it here since I don't have a hymnal in my library that contains the words and music - and I can't read music.
Here's the hymn:
And here's the tune:
So I switched over to Netflix and looked for something entertaining. After a couple of misses, I clicked on a movie called Lion - and found myself thinking about things like "love" and "being lost" and "finding home".
He showed up shortly after I placed the bird feeder on my library window. I figured since I would be spending a lot more time in my home office, I might as well have a little visual enjoyment. It took a little while for the birds to find it and figure out there was food to enjoy, but once there was one, more arrived.
And one morning I noticed one of the red-headed finches seemed to have an injured eye. It would turn its good eye toward the food before selecting a seed to eat and rather than perch on the feeder's edge, this little bird would sit in the food.
Then during the summer I didn't see him. For awhile I figured he had died from the injury. Survival of the fittest and all that.
But yesterday he was once again sitting in the seed, enjoying the quiet and having all the seeds to himself.
I called him "Scrappy" - because in his short life I'm guessing he's faced more than his share of difficulties.
Half of his world is always hidden, so he's never sure what he's going to have to face. Other birds pick at him and chase him off - and he leaves. Then he returns to the feeder when the gang has moved on to munch somewhere else.
I hope it comes back often. It reminds me that no matter how much crap life throws at me, I can still keep going - even if no one else wants me around.
New books. New ideas. For the first time in my life I began to understand that this "hidden" world was amazing, and it also revealed to me so much that I had been seeking for as long as I could remember.
Some of it is due to wanting to feel secluded. A family to the south of me and an older couple to the west of me are beyond trees and bushes. The obnoxious building supply store to the north of me is blocked by the barrier of thuja giant evergreen trees I planted years ago. The east is open – well, fairly open; it’s sometimes blocked by railroad cars on the tracks east of the house. Two tall evergreen trees and an adolescent maple tree give me some blockage.
But, another reason for the overgrowth comes from a love of birds.
I was coming home from plant shopping with my sister on Mother’s Day when I noticed people walking into my property as I was driving toward the house. I was about a half mile away from the property, so I couldn’t see who it was. Initial thoughts were that I had caught someone trying to hop the fence into the backyard.
When I pulled up to my property and tried to see who was invading my space, I had to laugh. It was my neighbor’s daughter Brooke, her husband Kyle, and their son Ryder. I rolled down the window and said hello.
“We were just looking into your back yard. A wild turkey just flew into it,” Brooke said. We started laughing and joking about the whole thing. I pulled around the house into the driveway and decided to begin the search for the turkey.
The saga of the garden shed is a story in itself. First there was a metal shed with sliding doors that dad and my granddad assembled – only they didn’t quiet follow instructions and it was about a foot shorter in width than it should have been. Dad never said much about it after it was built; the “short shed” was always a reminder to “read the instructions” from that point on.
It got old, and rusty, and dad had to tear it down in order to make way for the two-car garage he was having built. So after the garage was built, he had one of those Amish outbuildings brought onto the property to hold garden tools and other stuff. It had two windows, hunter green shutters, and two front doors closed at the center and trimmed in the same hunter green.
And then, he died.