Yesterday the house was filled with chatter and laughter as the grand twins visited and worked their magic on the surrounding area. We took cookies to our neighbors and fed their horses carrots and apples. We collected eggs at our house and held the gentle hens. We played with the Christmas train that will finally go to their house on Christmas day. And we finished rolling Brigadeiros, Brazilian fudge balls, for the Christmas dessert plate.
So today started quietly. Except. After finishing all the morning chores, the bird feeders stayed empty of all the small creatures who usually come to fatten up in the cold. Then I heard birdy complaints coming from the front of the house. To the side, under an old plum tree, a Cooper’s hawk was holding down a bird as it pecked away. Hearing the cries of the prey, I was tempted to chase the hawk away. However, he must eat also.
Hours later, I was skimming the current issue of Audubon magazine when I came upon a poem by Margaret Atwood. It was about a dead bird. It made me go out to see what was left of the hawk’s meal. The hawk was still there and flew as I approached. All that was left was tiny fluff scattered on the snow. In the bushes close by were lots of silent little birds who had been hiding all morning.
Life plays out all around us. We don’t always look for connection, but it is there. I am an observer, but also I am a part of the drama. As one of my friends said yesterday,
“I tell myself every day; I am here now.”
So to the hawk, and its prey, and the little hiding birds, thank you for sharing your story. It’s Christmas Eve. Please remember it is a season of joy, faith, death, and life.