As I sit on a large rock in my backyard, I am waiting for my muse to make her presence known.
I hear two birds conversing in a tree behind me. Their vocabulary is limited to five syllables, repeated over and again. “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee.” In a nearby lilac tree sit two Black-Capped Chickadees, next to an empty bird feeder.
I take a break from cursing writer’s block to re-fill the feeder. I say with a smile, “Sorry guys, the buffet is now open.”
I return to my thoughtful spot on the rock. Within moments, the tree is filled with hungry birds. I have helped to resolve their conflict, their struggle for survival.
I hear a staggered pattern of honking geese approaching. I see them fighting a stiff head-wind as they fly over me in their energy-efficient V-formation. I imagine they are saying, “Work together. Strong birds to the front. Tired ones, rest in the rear. Keep flying, we can make it!” Is it absurd to think they could be encouraging one another? I don’t think so.
A leaf drifts in the breeze and lands on a blank page of my notebook that is challenging me to produce something worthwhile. It touches down silently, but it makes a thunderous sound as it crashes into my thoughts.
My muse has arrived.
My pen touches the paper, and I begin to write.
Nature struggles. Birds get hungry and tired. Leaves die. Cold nights destroy a pumpkin-sized nest of white-faced hornets.
Nature lives in seasons. Plants and animals are born in seasons. They flourish and grow in seasons. And ultimately, they die in seasons.
Nature is not always logical, but it is always purposeful. It can be inconvenient (a rainy day); it can be messy (a blizzard in October); and it can be deadly (hurricanes, forest-fires, and tornados.)
How often do we struggle like the birds, the leaves, and hornets? Do we not also live in seasons?
Certainly, there are times when our lives defy logic and don’t make sense. Despite our best intentions, we hurt others. Despite trying to do “right” we are “wronged.” We fight with our families. We get blind-sided by adversity. We struggle.
However, like nature, our lives are purposeful.
In nature, the spring season brings renewal and rebirth of flowers and trees, after they have endured a relentlessly harsh winter.
In life, a family finds a way to repair a loving relationship, after they have endured a year of hurt feelings and broken hearts.
Life, like nature, is not easy. However, we seem better able to cope with adversity after a period of intense struggle and hardship, just as a forest regenerates after suffering from a fire.
Sometimes, we are like the hungry chickadees. Sometimes, we are like the benevolent one who fills the feeder.
What is important is that we recognize, accept, and appreciate Nature with all her virtues and her vices. It is also imperative that we accept one another, not only for their desirable traits, but also for their shortcomings.
Embrace the cycles of your life. Celebrate the changing of your seasons. Don’t get upset when a leaf crashes into your life.
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.