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Daily Archives: May 27, 2014

why I feed the birds

Richard Vargas’ poem reminded me of one I posted sometime ago called Birdfoot’s Grandpa. We each have those idiosyncratic things that make us who we are. We might save frogs, feed birds, serve meals in a shelter, etc. It is in those moments which are largely unexplainable, but clearly visible that we become who we are.

Something that stood out for me in both poems was the role elders played in the lives of others. Our grandparents and parents do things that we do not understand in the given moment. It is only years later as we experience our roles as parents, grandparents, and pedagogues that we come to understand what it might have meant.

When we take time and make the world a better place, we add something no one else can. In that addition, the world does become better. It is rarely in the large and overtly obvious things, but in the small, less obvious contributions that the world shifts from ordinary to extraordinary. It is giving without any certainty and hope of a return. We do it because it is who we are in our particular humanness which is always being and becoming in relationship with the universe.

And, it make a difference to birds, to frogs, and people in need when we add to the world without expecting return. In those moments, they are small gods in our lives. Those offerings make a difference in our lives without awareness of their importance. They add to our lives enriching them and making them fuller.

i saw my grandmother hold out
her hand cupping a small offering
of seed to one of the wild sparrows
that frequented the bird bath she
filled with fresh water every day

she stood still
maybe stopped breathing
while the sparrow looked
at her, then the seed
then back as if he was
judging her character

he jumped into her hand
began to eat
she smiled

a woman holding
a small god

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The mystery of the unknown; the wonder and ecstasy that it brings….

There is a always mystery in the universe. We are surrounded by it and it calls to us to engage in it. It is not a search for certainty, but a welcoming that certainty is itself uncertain. However, that does not prevent us from being in awe of the certainty of uncertainty. We can always find a place in that wonder.

esssellle

The sky is full of the sun and the stars
The universe is full of life
Among all these I have found a place
And in wonder and amazement I sing.
The world is swayed
By eternity’s rushing tide
Rising and falling
I have felt its tug in my blood
Racing through my veins
And in wonder and amazement I sing.
While walking in the woodlands
With my feet I have touched the blades of grass
I have been startled by the flowers’ fragrance
They have all maddened my mind
The gifts of gladness and joy
Are strewn all around
And in wonder and amazement I sing.
I have pricked my ears
I have opened my eyes
I have bared my heart to the world
In the midst of the known
I have sought the unknown
And in wonder and amazement I sing

-Rabindranath Tagore
(Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali…

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