Saturday, July 5, 2008

What Kind of World Do I Want?

We recently moved to the country. Now, when we throw open our windows every morning, we're greeted by a symphony of birdsong.

Robins, bluejays, rose-breasted grosbeaks, orioles, and some I have yet to name, use our property as their personal playground. We weren't content to catch fleeting glimpses of birds as they soared past our windows and landed somewhere in a tangle of tree limbs, however. We wanted quality time with our friendly new neighbours, who after all seemed to be happy we were sharing their space.

Before you can say it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time, bird feeders of different shapes and sizes were dangling from our hastily constructed bird feeder swingset. They swayed gently in the breeze, weighed down with a bounty of sunflower seeds.

I couldn't wait to see who would pop in and sample our wares.

Over the next few days the odd bluejay visited our brand spanking new food bars, but no one else felt the need to swing by the new eatery.

I would love to say we're bird-watching neophytes, but that would be a bald-faced lie. In fact, over the last few years, we've invested a considerable amount of time researching everything there is to know about bird feeders.

In short, we knew better. Any bird watcher worth his salt knows you need to provide a wide array of tempting treats, based on the types of birds that visit your property. If we had slowed down and taken the time to look at the needs and wants of our friends, we would have laid out a smorgasbord of various seeds, such as millet, safflower, and niger, with just a pinch of nectar thrown in.

If you're new to your neighbourhood and want a deeper connection with those around you, try inviting them into your home. Create a warm welcoming atmosphere, and listen to their stories. Find out what makes them tick. Think along the lines of Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten. You'd be surprised how easy it is to reach out and create a deeper connection with your neighbour. It just takes a little effort.

Speaking of reaching out to others, click here to view Five For Fighting's video, which stresses that "we are all connected to one another through our actions. Each person has the ability to make a difference."


Randy said...

Hmmm...sometimes I don't even take time to notice the birds, nevermind constructing something to attract them! Maybe I need to take more time to see what is around me?

Maureen Lee said...

Thank you, Randy, for your comment.

We've been learning many life lessons since we moved to the country and one of them is to slow down. Enjoy the people in your life, and set aside a block of time every day just to absorb the beauty that surrounds you.

It's amazing what will fall into your lap if you do.

Melanie Lynne said...

It is definitely the small things in life that are the grandest. My brother told me about your site. I spent a few hours this morning looking into the many links you have posted. They are so beautiful and yet so different. I found Ideal-Way to be quite unique. And in keeping with your "What Kind of World Do I Want?", apparently, Robert's aunt saw something grand from a small request.

Best of luck to all of you. I will spread the word. God bless!

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Maureen Lee said...

Melanie, thank you - I loved your insightful comment, "It is definitely the small things in life that are the grandest." What a wonderful way to put it!

I'm glad that you enjoyed reading the links we posted. I agree that they are beautiful, each in their own unique way.

Speaking of which, we are all thankful Ad was able to open her heart and mind to Rob's request. As she said, it would have been so easy to ignore it...

And thank you for spreading the word!

Gordo said...

I agree with you, melanie lynne.
Rob's aunt lives according to Aesop:

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted."

Yvonne said...

The arrogance of many 'normal' people never ceases to amaze me when they, unfairly, look down on persons with Down syndrome, Autism, Aspergers, etc., that can not function so well as them amid the pace of our driven modern world.

Heck, many 'normal' persons are, literally, killing themselves while forever trying to get ahead.

So, who is 'better' than whom?

Slowing the pace of one's life and stopping to "smell the roses" is good advice for any of us in these hectic times. This blog's very good advice to that effect applies whether we are 'normal' or otherwise.

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