Yesterday I was greeted by a Varied Thrush sitting in my snowy planter box outside my kitchen window. His brilliant orange and black plumage was radiant against the snowy backdrop of cedar branches.
I watched him and his wife for almost two hours as well as the juncoes, chick-a-dees, nuthatches, hummingbirds, squirrels and stellar jay that flitted back and forth from our feeder to the safety of the cedars.
It was magical.
This bird feeder was a Christmas gift to my husband a number of years ago and it has brought us endless hours of pleasure and delight.
It took me the better part of an hour to identify the Varied Thrush as such. I had all three bird books on the table and tried in vain to get a picture of him with my phone.
Afterwards my dh and I went to get some replacement felt lines for our winter boots, and we dropped off some knitted donations to a charity downtown.
It was a good day.
As I am writing this a downy woodpecker just came to the feeder. My daughter and I spotted him.
She calls this backporch feeder Mum's sanctuary.
We all need them.
Sometimes to ward off the cold.
Sometimes to keep out the darkness.
Sometimes to find a place to sleep that is safe.
Sometimes to fill a hungry belly.
Sometimes to just be.
I remembered the verse from People Look East we used to sing at school during the third week of Advent - it was about the birds:
Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
He for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.
This morning I sat quietly with my coffee and lit the candles on my Advent wreath.
I remembered the verse for the third week of Advent:
Now the beasts are on the earth
Waiting for the Christ child's birth.
There is an ox and a lamb there in the photograph. And a rat. All animals of the stable.
Waiting as they waited 2000 years ago.
Waiting for a sign.
Waiting for a miracle.
And it will come.
It was promised.
It will come.
Blessings to all of you, Dear Readers, within this third week of Advent.