Friday, March 19, 2010

Wisdom In Weariness

The marauding and noisy icterids have arrived like a dreaded army in full-force, gorging themselves at our feeders, depriving our better feathered friends of the diet that keeps them hanging close to Homestead Hermitage. They show up every spring about the time the robins begin their spring migration, flapping their way back toward the northern states to announce the coming of spring to folks sequestered by long winter weather.

I used to try chasing the unwanted birds away but all my efforts were efforts in futility. When the feeders run empty they will sit in the trees and squawk at me, scolding me because they can’t get an easy handout. I tried to keep feed out so the better birds wouldn’t do without at a time when nature’s supply train is pulling empty boxcars. But the cost efficiency fast became apparent. It costs a lot in bird seed to feed the droves of unwanted moochers that never get enough and always demand more.

Maybe I’m judging, placing a higher value on some feathers while discounting others. No. I am definitely being judgmental, counting the cost, weighing on a balance. It so happens that the few lifted by the grosser weight are the more valuable lot. And they suffer because of the greedy mass congregated on the other side of the scale, squawking and pushing their weight around as though their volume and noise is indicative of some privileged classification.

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. Handwriting on an ancient wall. The handwriting is indelibly scribed all over the post-modern wall. More often scoffed at when it is read. But mostly ignored and unread. Weighed in the balances and found wanting. Who wants to hear that in this age of hedonism, self-gratification, and rampant self-indulgence?

I keep a supply of bird seed on the porch and dole out a little now and then during the lulls between the droves that quickly hone in. It’s the least I can do for the gentle little ones that accompany us and bless us with their pretty songs.