Dangerous Compassions

the treat of a bird circus

I was sitting outside, last week, at the Worker.  I was at the picnic table, enjoying life, looking at the plants mostly–herbs, mint, the bush with purple flowers J likes, the trees, including the huge conifer.

I didn’t have my keys, so I couldn’t get into 502.  My friend was making breakfast, and I heard the crunch crunch as he walked on the gravel, back and forth between 502 and 500, getting ingredients, his slow, steady way.

I thought maybe I should help him.  But I was taking a moment to rest and just be.  I was also looking for Ming to see if he would pass by.

Suddenly, the sprinklers came on.  What do you think happened then?  I saw water come out of the little black plastic sprinkler heads in small streams.

Then the birds came.  There were many grackles, and they all seemed female.  There were some Little Brown Jobs also (LBJs).

They hopped to the sprinkler heads, their drinking fountains.  It was cute to see them. 

Also there was a big baby.  It was the same size as its mom but opened its mouth to beg and fluttered its wings in that juvenile way.  I liked that too.  Once, the baby was begging from its mom, and the mom flew away.  The baby looked awkward for a moment and then flew after her.  I enjoyed watching this.

Another drama was grackles trying to get the strawberries.  They would grasp the fine black netting with their beaks and pull.  I thought about trying to shoo them, but I just watched.  I thought maybe I should be pro human consumption of strawberries as opposed to bird consumption.  But I just let it all unfold.

It was like a multiple-ring circus in the sense of different scenes to watch at different sprinkler heads.  I thought soon the water would turn off and the birds would leave.  But the water stayed on a while.  Birds drank, birds bathed.  The grackles were at a few sprinkler heads, and I think the LBJs were at just one. 

One of the grackles was bigger than the others.  I thought maybe she was their queen.  She was trying to remove the strawberry netting with a friend.  They gave up.

I decided to go inside, can’t remember why.  I ended up helping my friend by making and buttering all that toast.

Being in the kitchen with him, I felt he was doing something sacred.  He was in his element, wearing an apron like he often does, with his long hair tied back. 

I was thinking how he learned to cook for his kids, long ago.  It was a meditative, beautiful thing he often did alone, I think.  It involves certain movements made many times.  He had probably made fried potatoes a hundred times, at least.  So he probably had certain ways he liked to do it.  A way of looking at the potatoes, evaluating them, their doneness, how to season them, how much salt, how much oil. 

He would cover the pan with foil sometimes.  The pan was huge, and he was using foil as a lid.  I felt honored to see him do his thing, as it’s great to see anyone truly good at something do their thing.

I think that was the same day we had our friend visit and give the talk on tiny house villages.  Or maybe I’m mixing up days.  Sleep deprivation is bad for my memory.  Please pray for me that I can sleep ok.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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