The Bird TableMiguel Dean
I wanted to feed the birds so I bought a fine looking bird table from an elderly gentleman who was retired and wanted to put his carpentry skills to good use in the shed at the bottom of his garden.
When at first I hung out the bird feeder and sprinkled the table with seeds the visitors were few.
Sometimes I would have to throw the food in the feeder away because it had gone mouldy and yet I so wanted to feed the birds. I knew they were hungry.
Before too long the big brave birds came: the arrogant, greedy magpies, the comical, strutting pigeons and the quarrelsome blackbirds. And of course the curious robins, they were amongst the first.
And although to begin with I was a little disappointed because I wanted to see the pretty little birds, I decided to do my best to welcome everyone to my bird table!
The winged creatures are a blessing to me. They are a gift: miracles in aeronautical engineering presence of a master creator. Messengers, teachers, delicate beings with wonderful songs to fill the trees and skies.
Like pieces of my spirit the birds flit and fly here, there and everywhere, unfettered by the lightness of their being. As I feed the birds with my humble offerings I feed my spirit which is also returning to the light.
When the winter months grow heavy upon us what else can we do but feed the birds?
What else can we do but tend as lovingly and gently to the aspects of ourselves that yearn for care and kindness?
And with the passing of time and regular care and attention the numbers and varieties of visitors to the bird table increases in the garden of my being; slowly at first and then more and more.
I sit and watch their antics from the comfort of my chair and I smile in welcome at the new arrivals who now grace me with their presence daily.
The pretty multi-coloured ones come now too: the goldfinches and bullfinches and blue tits and great tits, the shy winged ones: acceptance, compassion, gentleness.
So I feed the birds to show them that I love them all.
As I make my morning trip, barefoot across the cold, damp, earth to replenish the bird table for my spirited, winged, treasures I know that as I feed them, so I feed and nourish myself.
And the cold, dark season begins to pass and I am at peace with my winter’s work of kindness and care, tending to the nourishment of the birds as they flit and fly inside me; the arrogant, the gentle, the comical, the cheeky, the quarrelsome, the shy.
After all, I am learning that everyone is welcome at my bird table.