Archive for the 'Birds' Category


oil and the big picture

Today I was going to write about my new grandchildren and then about Arizona immigration 101, but in attempting one more time to cull through my over-stuffed email in-boxes, I came upon an email from my sister that I had set aside last week. The subject line reads: Visualizing the BP Oil Disaster. When I first received her email on June 5, I looked at the link and was properly amazed. But I was so thoroughly caught up in my episodic grief and mourning that I didn’t go beyond. Today I went beyond and I am going to share this horrific piece of human carelessness.

This is a picture of the size of the disaster as of today, June 8, 2010. Big, isn’t it? Think of all the animals and plant life that will perish because of our greedy life styles…our captains of business who cannot manage to live on less than 7 figures per year. My world…your world…our world is so messed up. I think of Jesus’ ministry here on earth and what he had to say about kingdoms and power. He came to reform a power system not of God’s design. Nothing seems all that different, just worse. We still have Caesar thinking he is king of the world. Quite a few of them, actually. King(s) of the world. I wonder sometimes how long we can keep this world—this planet going with so little nurturing love of it.

See the big picture at Visualizing the BP Oil Spill Disaster Scroll down and read the text. Be sure to see number 5, Is the oil really hurting anything?

I am sick at heart. I don’t understand how God can still love us. Maybe it’s time for another flood?

Grace is completely undeserved.


beyond pentecost

A great deal has happened since I last wrote. A dear friend of mine advised me to speak to my community…to tell them what I need to feel at home with them. I took his advice, and although painful to be so vulnerable, I believe doing so has released the bird in me from the wire that held me fast, and has provided freedom to move…eventually to fly once again. This time I must learn a new flight pattern—a slow and easy circling pattern that allows for the inevitable waiting that is often the life of faith. I am a bird flying carefully and quietly so that I hear God’s voice and feel the leading of the Spirit. I have a lot to learn at the same time that I have so very much to give. Holding the Both and the And together, while walking forward with a basket of life balanced on my head.

Tonight I went to bed early but couldn’t get to sleep. Night can be a very difficult time for those of us who are loss-prone. All the needles and threads of daytime busyness fade into the deep, velvety-blue, darkness of night and there is no covering. I deeply miss adopted daughter, Bettina, whose let’s get it done energy melded so well with mine, allowing me to venture forth in foreign lands with bravery. There are birds who fly on the loft others create in flight formation. I am learning to fly solo and grateful for the several friends whom God has provided as air traffic controllers during this time of transition and initiation. They are my angels. I think they know who they are…

At night I turn on my Taize music, take my meds, turn off the light and wait for Bella, my little orange cat, to come join me. I talk to God. I say everything and nothing. I pour out wordless thoughts and painful experiences. It is my most intimate God time. I ask why and I ask how. I mostly ask for help. There are always tears. After a while Bella comes and with her comes Bettina to say, Goodnight Mamma. I like that.

My soul aches…not for any one thing or any one person. My soul aches for something it needs…God.

I am a bird circling high overhead, hoping it does not rain…preferring the clear blue of a sunny sky.


birds would walk

I heard an ornithologist say in a documentary program, that birds would walk if they could. That’s how he explained the ostrich and the penguins and the 40 some species of other flightless birds. He said that most of them have evolved in the absence of predators. Hmm, I wonder about this. Why would a bird give up that incredible gift of flying? Why not keep flying on the back burner as a fun thing to do every now and again, just for the heck of it? Evolution, he said.

Well, I envy the birds who fly and fly and fly. I am a bird—clearly evolved past flying—yet something I feel/imagine. My bones, though small, are way too heavy to fly, and yet I think that I should be able to do so. I fly in spirit. Right now, my wings are wet and heavy with grief, so I only make circles low to the ground.

I have entered a time of life when losses seem to be piling up all around me. But still I fly…maybe not so high, maybe not so joyfully, maybe not so vigorously…probably more mournfully than not. But God has provided some angels to walk with me. Each one strokes and dries a different feather. I need all these angels and am grateful for them, even if I don’t seem to sound that way. One of these angels gave me a book that I often read at night. Last night I found this poem. Listen:


I wanted to be a hermit and only hear the hymns
of the earth, and the laughter of the sky,

and the sweet gossip of the creatures on my limbs,
the forests.

I wanted to be a hermit and not see another face
look upon mine and tell me I was not
all the beauty in this

For so many faces do that–
cage us.

The wings we have are so fragile
they can break from just
one word, or

a glance void
of love.

I wanted to live in that cloister of
light’s silence

because, is it not true, the heart
is so fragile and shy.

St. Catherine of Siena (translated by Daniel Ladinsky from his book, Love Poems from God.


preparing to take off

Last post, I was a new bird on a new wire. Today, I am 3 % less new, but getting plenty weary of wire sitting. I am preparing to fly once again. Beware: bird leaving wire and heading out. Remaining birds wave good bye and promise to keep me in their prayers. That’s how it goes, isn’t it? Much easier to pray for someone than actually touch them. I don’t believe God intended us to sit on wires. I believe God makes circles and invites us to make them too. I like circles…always have. They are so lovely…big ones, small ones and everything in between.

Soon I will trip the 70th wire and turn 71. Time to fly. Like my friend, bigvoice, I’ll be looking for the blue above the cloudy sky. Sometimes it takes a leap to find you still have wings. Spread them wide and fly great big circles in that great blue sky…at least once in a while….

Sacred Bird of the North


New bird on the wire.

Have you ever noticed how birds flock to power lines and sit close together like little teapots waiting to be poured? I don’t know the ornithological reason why they do this, but as a human, I find it a delightful spectacle…a performance of sorts, just for me. I have imagined many reasons and usually fall back on the visual fact of so many birds content to share their space. No one is squawking about too much or too little, too loud, or too quiet. No, they are all sharing the wire and evidently getting something good from doing so. I am limited and do not understand. I am bound to personify the spectacle…all these birds are getting along—they are birds of a feather flocking together—members of the same club. No one is excluded. I see this and  wish we humans could enjoy that harmony.

God’s children were meant to have harmony, but do not know how to get there without letting go of ego interests. “How can I be myself if I let go of myself?” This is a question most anyone could easily ask.  It ‘s a topic for another blog. This time I just want to talk about the wire and the birds.

When a new bird comes to sit, the others don’t scare it away. If there’s room, the new bird finds a spot and joins the plump row of sitting birds. I love that—love to see it and wish I could have that same experience. At this point in time, I am a new bird on a new wire, but either the other birds are invisible to me, I am invisible to them, or I have cataracts and am not seeing beyond the pain that sent me to this wire in the first place. I am a new bird on a new church wire, not out of intention, but because the former church wire snapped in two and all flew flapping and squawking and circling about. Some of those birds thought I was too heavy for the wire. There is truth to that, but the greater reason for the wire breaking is something beyond:  some of them didn’t see the wind whipping up behind them because they had fluffed up way too much.

Took me a while to get to know those birds, to love and live with them on the wire. Now I have to start all over again and it seems harder than the last time. I don’t knowBird on wire why these new birds don’t see how hard it is to be a newbie. They are all good birds, but for some reason they don’t show themselves, don’t let their feathers touch mine. I am the new bird on the wire and I wish it weren’t so lonely. Last year this time, I was sitting happily on the old wire. My sister was dying and I was able to touch her feathers in a special way, because mine were touched. I am a bird on a wire, waiting for the silence to stop…waiting for the memory of loss to fade.



I don’t see many hummingbirds…have not seen many and may not. They are not everywhere. One must have red flowers with nectar that calls to them: “Come here, little ones, come quench your thirst on this delicious wine…” One flower would not be enough unless there are hummingbirds in the area. I think I may have only seen 4 or 5 of them in my lifetime. I said, seen. That’s the difference—seeing them. They are always on the move, fly a million miles an hour and do not linger without cause. Flitting from flower to flower in total delight, they are energy and wonder, love and joy.

Legends concerning this tiny little bird are generally positive and hopeful. Native Americans associate hummingbirds with the Ghost Spirit, who teaches a dance intended to return the natural balance of the world. An Aztec legend says the god of music and poetry took the form of a hummingbird and descended into the underworld to make love with a goddess, who then gave birth to the first flower.

Last Sunday (hope and help, Sep. 2) I was sharing with friends and spoke about some of the more difficult challenges I’ve had in my 70+ years. Suddenly they spotted a hummingbird just outside the window adjacent to where I was sitting. It hovered next to me, looked in and dashed away quickly, realizing there was no portal through the window. Shy little birds, barely weighing an ounce, I suspect. Messengers of love and joy, some say.

I was startled and slow to respond.  My story had sadness in it…sadness I was used to, but sadness oneHummingbirdgenerally leaves in boxes and prefers not to open unless asked. It had been a tough half hour, and a tough week prior. My friends were ecstatic with joy at the site of the little bird. They thought it was a blessing from God and a good omen. I thought it was a blessing from God too, but not just for me…for all of us. Was it God-life answering my prayer the night before, for a pathway out of sadness and a way in to joy? Did the Holy Spirit appear to me as the angel appeared to Mary?

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June 2020

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