I’m not usually a big fan of birds. I’ve had a few too many incidents in my life of birds leaving “a deposit” on my head for me to have any great fondness for things flying directly overhead. But this weekend I had a couple of “bird encounters” that surprised me.
On Saturday I armed myself with trowel and gloves and set out to weed my garden. A bird came flapping out of my evergreen tree, which caught my attention. There, nestled in the lower branches, is a perfect nest with three perfect, blue robin eggs. I’ve had many nests before in my yard, but always so high up that I could not see inside. This nest is right beneath my bedroom window where I can watch the progress of these eggs without having to disturb the attentive mother.
I’m sure these are very ordinary robin eggs, but when I saw them they seemed a marvel to me. They are such a lovely little detail of God’s creative majesty. At this time of year there is so much to make me rejoice. The flowering trees are enough to take my breath away if I really pay attention. But these little eggs, hidden from everybody’s sight but mine, struck me as such a happy little gem, meant only for my eyes, and of course for the momma robin. What a gift!
On Sunday I visited a small Catholic college that has awesomely beautiful and peaceful grounds. I spent some time outdoors , then headed to a small chapel on campus, fashioned after the famous portiuncula chapel in Assisi where St. Francis used to pray. As I parked my car, I heard a tap on the window and a small bird greeted me. I say “greeted” because it seemed to be really trying to communicate. He perched on the window’s edge and peered attentively inside. He landed on my side-view mirror and danced around a bit. He soared away but came right back, knocking, perching, dancing—seemingly playing with me. Again and again he circled back, and again and again I felt so blessed just to be there and witness this joyful little bird, so free and so happy just to be there tapping on my window.
Too often I miss the small details, the perfect joys of God’s beauty. This weekend I caught a glimpse and I am grateful. One last thought: Perhaps that happy little bird was influenced by a statue just a few feet from where I parked my car—a statue of St. Francis of Assisi with a bird perched peacefully on his shoulder.