Monday, October 21, 2013

Healing Watchfulness: The Downy, the Anhinga and the Northern Cardinal

Humans have not cornered the market on busyness.  We just think we have.  It’s kind of like solitude.  We think we understand the meaningful balance of solitude in our busy lives. But when I spend time “alone” with Mother Nature, I realize there is no such luxury, and no such hindrance, as a solitary day.  Pick your favorite creature to study—they are never isolated from the others of creation.

And so I quietly watch the watchable.  And I’m drawn to my feathered friends.  Busyness is in their nature.  If you tell someone they eat like a bird, you are pretty much saying they are constantly focused on seeking, finding and eating.
What I find is an incredible sense of peace when I watch these feathered beings go about their day in the life.  I encounter a personal healing with my watchfulness when I stop chasing the “rare” and focus on the “common” of the local field or wood. 

And when my viewing catches the ordinary locals, in an extraordinary moment of their own quiet watching, I am overcome by their beauty.  I realize my intrusion into their own world’s version of solitude, as they turn and watch the watcher.  I quietly back away, hoping to leave them to their stilled watch.

This female Downy Woodpecker was in a period of watchful rest after busily feeding, drumming and calling:


The elegance of this Anhinga, quietly turning to watch my own stationary pose, spoke volumes:

And how often do birders ignore the beauty of the “common” Northern Cardinal?  I stood silent and watched this grand male look out over the kingdom before him.  And then he slowly turned his head to watch this watcher:


Please "click on" the photos in my blog for better viewing. 
May all your days be birdy days.


  1. Enjoyed Emily! Dave

  2. I also enjoyed the pictures. Your commentary adds life to them and I can almost transport myself to the same spot and enjoy the real life moment all the while in the comfort of my PJs, air conditioning and bug free environment. How could life get any better?



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