Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Peace With Wings


We made ornaments this week...for the birds.

Because they ate all our cherries this year?
Because they pecked holes in the eaves
and made attic nests?

Heh.
 
But then we went birding.
A day's adventure into the wet, into the wind, 
unconnected 
from my technical world, 
no busy busy, no run arounds, no errand hopping, 
just listening.
 
Squinting into far off brambles.
Surprisingly, I connected. With the herons in the tree. 
With the brown-headed eagle, the sparrows, the finches.      
 
Like the time we stumbled on a barn owl and we lingered there, watching,
till the sky turned shadowy.
Or the day we pulled over the car to observe scores of starlings bathe in muddy puddles.

Maybe it's just the act of stopping 
in the midst of a life that whirls

-watching birds go about their day,
breathing in a piney forest, 
feeling rain pelt and pummel -

Maybe that's what slows me down. 
wakes me up. 
brings me peace.
And peace is what we all need this time of year.

So we made gifts for the birds.
 
I never thought I'd buy lard.  
 Or thistle seeds, for that matter.
Who needs more thistles? Birds, I guess.
So we squished together birdseed "cookies,"
threaded cheerios onto pipe cleaners  
and bent them into hearts.
Where did Birdy's cheerios go?
The big kids strung popcorn, nuts and apples into garlands.

I cut up felt and old jeans and t-shirts into bird-ish shapes
 for ornaments and pins.
 It was a good project for little sewists.
 
 And then we gathered our bounty
 
and strung it up
in the climbing tree.
 
 
"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Peace to you, my friends...
peace that lifts, 
peace with wings.


And some beauteous books to warm your winter!
  
 
The Birds of Bethlehem - Tomie dePaola
Night Tree - Eve Bunting, Ted Rand
The Candle in the Forest - compiled by Joe L. Wheeler
Uncle Vova's Tree - Patricia Polacco
The Trees of the Dancing Goats - Patricia Polacco
The Birds' Christmas Carol - Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Mitten - Barbara McClintock
The Mitten - Jan Brett
The Money We'll Save - Brock Cole
Owl Babies - Martin Waddell, Patrick Benson
Owl Moon - Jane Yolen, John Schoenherr
No Two Alike - Keith Baker

4 comments:

Faith E. Hough said...

Beautiful! We're going to be making some bird ornaments ourselves before the week is out...love your ideas!

Vijaya said...

We love feeding the birds too! I loved all your birdie ornaments and food!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

It always feels like coming home to visit your blog. Birding can be so fun, and you did something so cool after. Peace with wings to you, too.

Barb Davis-Pyles said...

Aaaaaaah, I can feel that peace from here. Thanks so much for blessing me with such a moment in the midst of a very hectic day. Sweet peace to you and yours as well.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...