We were graced this spring by a Carolina Chickadee couple that made their home in a cowboy boot birdhouse that hangs on our back deck. It was thrilling to watch them coming and going, busy with the work of furnishing a home and supplying food for a growing family.
Each morning we would watch them begin the day, flitting about, busy with activity. Often one of them one stand guard on a nearby branch, or on the deck railing, and if another pesky bird came to ransack their new house he/she would be promptly chased away.
We took great delight in watching them live their lives. And we hoped to see babies exit the nest one day. [I guess we sort of had an extended grandparent thing going on.] We were proud landlords.
But early this morning I noticed several tufts of down at the entrance to the house, and I was puzzled. I did not see the usual activity to which I had grown accustomed. Late today I inspected more closely, and I saw that the tufts of down seemed to have fallen to the deck in smaller pieces. I grew concerned.
Had another bird (or birds) attacked the nest? Had they destroyed what was inside, perhaps even bird eggs? Had the couple been killed, or run out of their new cowboy boot home?
This evening as I write I am still looking for answers to these questions. I am hoping that tomorrow I will again see the little burgeoning family, and my fears be allayed.
Truthfully, I fear the worst.
But I am reminded tonight that there was nothing those birds could have done to insure that nothing bad would happen to them. No amount of preparation and forethought could have prevented these events.
I have several good friends with cancer right now, another with a serious staff infection (surgery was necessary today), another grieving the loss of her child (only in her twenties); still others dealing with the pain of divorce, the loss of a secure career, and a myriad of other struggles and pains of life.
With so many possible disasters ahead of us, do we go ahead and build on our proverbial bird houses, and busy ourselves with striving day after day to achieve goals and realize dreams that may be dashed in a single day?
FEAR would answer that question with a resounding, “NO!”
FEAR would have us hold off, postpone life, search for some unassailable or impregnable position, i.e. WAIT before living.
But the Carolina Chickadees on my back deck did not allow fear to stop them from living. They went to work each day. They lived their lives in the midst of possible destruction every day.
Instead of seeing that back porch boot as a place of possible demise, they saw it as a beautiful home they had every right to enjoy. And enjoy it they did.
Fear is not your friend.
It does not seek to help you; rather, it seeks to rob you.
You may be in your Cowboy Boot House right now. Or . . . you may have been evicted recently, your dreams chased away in a moment of absolute horror. In either case, you get to decide how you want to live.
I say . . . don’t give THE BOOT to fear! Or to say it the same way – with a different meaning . . . give fear the boot!