Feeding the Birds

Female Cardinal

Photo by Margy Dowzer

It is also possible to make a relationship to animals by feeding them. At our house, we offer sunflower seeds that are loved by cardinals, chickadees, and tufted titmice; suet for the woodpeckers, and thistle for the gold finches. Some of the birds are around all year long, but in late spring it is a delight to see the travelers again. We put out a hummingbird feeder at the beginning of May, and we put out orange slices and wait for the orioles to show up. They bring so much beauty to our ears and eyes.

 Thich Naht Hanh says,

When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born… We want to be connected. That is the meaning of love, to be at one. When you love someone you want to say I need you, I take refuge in you. You do anything for the benefit of the Earth and the Earth will do anything for your wellbeing.

When we make a deep connection with one small part of Mother Earth, we are helped to make a connection to the whole of our mother. We are helped to see that we too are a part of the Mother Earth, that we belong here. And then we can honor the whole harmony of connections that make up life. May we find a way to experience the joy that comes with knowing this deep harmony.

Thich Naht Hanh quote from an article by Jo Confino, “Beyond environment: falling back in love with Mother Earth,” Feb 20 2012, The Guardian


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